Top Tips for Young People Considering Running for Office

Are you a young person considering running for public office? Time to get started. You can make a difference.


While this is only my second race, I wanted to answer many questions that I have been receiving about running as a younger candidate. I also have had the opportunity to mentor a younger student majoring in political science this semester, so it has been really a neat experience. Here is some advice I have been given and things I am learning along the way.

1. Never let your age discourage you.
You will have people say that you do not have the experience. The most important thing to remember is that you just need a desire to serve others and a passion for helping your community. Experience will come. Start out with the smaller races first, like your local city races, and then learn from that. Never give up if you lose a race. Take the loss and make it a learning experience to improve upon for your next run.
2. Never let your opponents or the media define you.
If you face a challenge or you are not the typical candidate in your race, turn your differences into positives. I for example am a young woman that was born with complete vision loss. It is a difference and a challenge, but never something that defines me. You want to always get in front of anything that you might have used against you and turn it into a positive. In my case I say yes I have this challenge, but we all face challenges each day, and it is how we overcome these challenges that matters. Then from that you can move on to discussing how you will help your constituents. Never let the media or anyone else stay on discussing you. You are running not for yourself, but to help your city, state, or nation.
3. The best advice I was given is, if you put serving others first, anything is possible.
Whether you are running for city council, state rep, Congress, or Senate, remember that you do not have opponents. It is not about winning the race, it is about getting a seat to help the constituents we want to serve.
4. Never go negative during your campaign. Voters, your future constituents will see right through it, and it is not worth winning an election to hurt people or tear them down.
It goes back to remembering that we do not have opponents. We are each running our own race. Let the voters decide. Always stay positive and talk about how you want to help your constituents. Even if someone else goes negative against you, always keep positive and stay on message. Negative campaigns do not win, or if they do, the elected official usually does not last long and is there for the wrong reasons.
5. Find good, solid mentors and role models that will be there to encourage you and help you throughout your consideration process and when you decide to make it official and run.
I found mine through campaign internships, volunteering, and attending my local political Party’s events. It is these mentors that will help shape you as a candidate. But in the end, it will be up to you to determine how you want to present yourself to your future constituents, the voters. It is up to you to research what issues are affecting your community. Make sure that you listen to the people you are seeking to represent, and research all you can about the issues important to them.
6. Be careful of organizations that send you surveys after you file to run. Only complete these surveys if you are familiar with the organization and can answer the questions the best way possible. These surveys can be used against you later on if the group is not happy with your answers. Never just answer a survey or sign a pledge just to get endorsements or campaign funding. If you are a candidate of real integrity and committed to serving, you do not need any of that. Voters will come to you. People can see who is just running for the title or another reason. Run for the right reasons, and it will show through your campaign message, how you enteract with your fellow citizens, and your actions and words.
7. Learn all you can.
Yes, it sounds straight-forward, but I cannot express how important it is to gain as much knowledge as possible before you run. Read as many books as you can find from political leaders that you admire. Attend as many political events as possible. Volunteer and take internships and other opportunities. These experiences will pave the way for you to develop a strong campaign when you are ready to run. Remember that it is not required to have a degree or any kind to run for office, but it can be helpful.
Some organizations I recommend are Vote Run Lead, Local Victory, and the Leadership Institute.
8. Never let anyone get in your head.
This means, believe in yourself and trust only those you know very well. When you are a younger candidate, sometimes people will try to take advantage of this fact and lead you on the wrong path. It again goes back to building a solid network of role models and mentors that you trust. It is also important to have your family involved in your planning. They will be a huge help to your success if they are supportive. I am blessed that my family is extremely supportive of my run for office. Without that, it would be much more difficult.
9. Keep an open mind at all times.
This does not mean that you should change your beliefs on the issues. Constituents need to know that they are heard and understood. I learned about all political parties, factions, and how each one views issues. I also, if time permits, go door to door to people that might not be likely to vote for me. This is because if I am elected, I will be representing them as well, not just the people that voted for me.
10. Always be professional on social media, and do not fall for bait or fee the trolls.
What we as candidates and future leaders say on social media stays on there forever. You have to ask yourself, how do I want my future constituents to view me. While it might be fun for a second to get involved in an online debate about an issue of which you are very passionate, it is not worth it. Remember too that candidate trackers are not just at physical events these days. They are looking at your online presence as a candidate for any gaffes or quotes that can be used against you later in the campaign. If you have any old pictures or maybe some things you did in your past that you regret, go through your social media profiles and ensure they are polished before making your announcement to run.
11. Civility and decorum are the keys to success if you want to help constituents and work to find real solutions to the problems your community is facing.
It is important to always remain calm and professional, even when the other person or group of people may be getting upset. People will be looking to you to be a leader. It is especially important to remember this when you are working with the media. Be prepared for questions or comments meant to distract you or get you off message. Develop your message should be one of the first steps you take when you decide to run. If you have a solid message, remain calm and professional no matter how tough the questions or comments become, you will come out on top. You might not win every time, but it is never a reason to give up. Someone once told me, there are plenty of critics, but very few candidates. If you are running for the right reasons to serve others, win or lose, you will help inspire others.
My fellow younger candidates, I wish you all the best. Let me know if I can ever help in any way. I hope this advice has been helpful. I know how difficult it was for me when I first started out in this journey.

Why I am Asking for Your Vote

I believe in civility, decorum, and standing on principle.

My name is Alexandria Knox. I am a student at Southern New Hampshire University and am studying to dedicate my life to helping our elected leaders and serving the people. I am running for the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Manchester in ward 10, because I believe we need a positive change in Concord. I believe too many of our elected officials have lost the ability to truly listen and work together to get things done for the people. I also believe there are too many elected officials and politicians that just serve for the power, for the title, and not for the right reasons. I want to be someone my constituents can trust, honorable, and someone that my constituents can always come to with their concerns. Labels are getting in the way of solving problems and coming up with real solutions. I am a Republican committed to solid conservative principles while ensuring those that need help are treated with respect and compassion. I am inspired by our elected leaders, and want to serve my constituents and give back to my community. We need professionals of integrity and problem-solvers in the state house. We all face challenges every day, and I believe we can overcome these challenges by working together in a respectful way and holding our elected officials accountable. Right now families are struggling with the high burden of paying extremely high tax bills, and business are suffering due to increased government regulation. Our young people are leaving due to lack of employment and bleak futures. We need leadership that understands fellow citizens and the struggles we all face in our daily lives. I am running to ensure freedom and constitutional principles are upheld while ensuring that our veterans, elderly, and those with special needs and illness are provided with the services they deserve while keeping taxes low and government small. I face the challenge of being born completely without sight, but my vision is clear for the people I am seeking to represent here in New Hampshire. That vision is that we return to opportunity, prosperity, government accountability where all constituents are heard and represented, and preserving our freedoms before they are lost. I believe there are times when compromise is needed, but only if that compromise is for the good of freedom, prosperity, and all people. It’s time to stand on principle, take action, and bring civility back to Concord. I am ready to serve you and would be honored to earn your vote.


Vote for Alexandria in 2020, It’s Time to Put Constituents First

Candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives committed to putting constituents first.

CandidateInCoatI want to thank everyone that has come on this inspiring journey with me. Thank you for placing your trust in me all those that voted for me to represent you today. I especially want to thank my campaign team, dedicated volunteers, amazing doaners, and outstanding campaign manager Mr.  Ray Hebert Your leadership was uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging. I thank all of you for believing in me. We ran a great, clean, and positive campaign and one that young people can look up to as some of them consider running for office. This is not my last race. I will run again, because I love helping my state and making a positive difference. The one message I hope all of you take away from my campaign is that no matter what challenge you may be facing, you can do anything if you believe in yourself and put serving others first. I may have been born with complete vision loss, but it is the drive I have to help others overcome their challenges that is my focus in everything I do. It is because of my family and their amazing support, their love for me, their belief in my ability, and raising me as a normal person not a person with a disability, that I had the courage to do what some say should have been impossible, campaign hard and run in a very competitive State House primary race.
I congratulate Rep. Tammy Simmons and Mr.  Dan Garthwaite for their hard-fought victories tonight. I thank you for your support, and I look forward to helping our Party win. Until my next campaign, I plan to return to helping fellow candidates and serving my community as much as possible. This journey is far from over.


My name is Alexandria Knox. I am running for state representative in 2016 in ward 10, Manchester. I am running because I believe New Hampshire needs compassionate, young leadership committed to decorum, civility, integrity, and leaders that are dedicated to ensuring New Hampshire citizens have a real voice at the state house. I believe it’s time for a common sense Republican approach. This means that I will be a Republican, but I will be a state representative first. I thank you for your consideration, and would be honored to earn your vote in the 2016 Republican primary. I am fully committed to being accessible to my constituents at all times. New Hampshire is a place of beauty, wonderful state to start a business and raise a family, and one of the best places to live. We also have one of the lowest crime rates, and least government regulations. We must ensure that this is maintained for future generations. That will only be made possible by leadership dedicated to small government, common sense legislation, low taxes, and principles of freedom and prosperity. I am a pro-business Republican ready to meet the challenge of making New Hampshire a great business climate. The New Hampshire economy depends on our small businesses to grow and thrive. I will fight for our community. I will be an honorable leader committed to the highest integrity, accessible to Manchester’s District 17. I also will be a strong advocate for those with special needs, veterans, military families, those suffering from mental illness, and those experiencing drug addiction. I believe that not enough is being done to help those in need. We can help others without increasing taxes or decreasing the freedoms we enjoy, but we must ensure that we help those most in need. I hope to one day represent you in Concord. Please always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. If you choose me to represent you in Concord, you will be voting for a strong, dedicated leader that cares deeply about our families, business community, and those citizens most in need.

Paid for and authorized by Alexandria Knox for State Representative.

Fiscal Agent Will Infantine

in touch:
I always welcome constituent questions, concerns, and all feedback.