Why are you running for office? (or Why do you want to lead?)

The Why Am I Running Worksheet will be used to inform your stump speech and responses to questions. It is a worksheet for YOU and not to be presented in any formal way in your campaign. Answer the following questions as truthfully and personally as possible.


Describe the pivotal moment that triggered your decision to run. Is there a story about why you moved from thinking about running to actually taking the leap? Personalize it as much as possible. Move to the emotional side of the equation rather than the policy side. Why are you running for this office specifically? What are the qualities of this office that you feel you have the specific skills, knowledge, insight and/or passion for (relate this to the way you want to provide leadership in this office; i.e. building coalitions, talking directly to people, research, action, etc.)?


Describe actions that reference your values with the leadership characteristics you most value and admire. How will you lead? Why you, specifically? Why do you want to do this specific job? Include what you bring to this office that is unique or to leadership in general.

What are your personal attributes?

What connections can you make with your audience – who is going to hear you, read the interview or watch the program? How do you connect to your constituency? What is your personal story that connects you to this audience? What connects you to this job? What connects you to this passion for leadership? Be specific and tell a short story that reflects the personal.

Ready to get your personal story in shape?

If you haven’t already, print out the Why Am I Running Worksheet here and start answering these questions. Then, get ready to dive into the Issues Worksheet and identify what matters most to you and your community.

To continue building your political leadership skills and learning how to run for office at your own pace, access our resource library.