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5. What are your key issues (and opponents' issues)?

What are the major issues of your campaign? You can't address all of them, although you do need to be as knowledgeable overall as you can be. Generally, it's best to choose three or four major issues that are important to you and the people in your election district. You should think about how to learn more about them -- from other people, research, direct experience in groups, and other ways -- and develop your positions. Then, during the campaign, whenever people think of the campaign, they'll think of those three or four issues you are promoting. Create and push the agenda for the race.

Focusing your issues can actually broaden your appeal. When people hear the candidate's name, you want them to be able to list three or four issues that identify the campaign. If you accomplish this, you have made your agenda clear and successfully interacted with the community.

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