Meet the campaign masterminds

Managers paramount to success of aspiring candidates

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Ask the men and women running for the University Students’ Council presidency about the value of their respective campaign managers and you will get a similar response across the board.

“Fantastic,” presidential candidate Ben Singer said of the effort his manager Jeff Lindquist has put forth. “Jeff has dedicated his [...] life to this [campaign].

“Jeff [and the rest of the campaign team] have kind of pooled their resources and helped turn me into the well dressed, well spoken man you see before you today " not that I was terrible before,” Singer joked.

Candidate Andrew Beach shared his competitor’s sentiments when referring to his own manager, Joe Cariati.

“Invaluable,” he said in describing Cariati’s contributions to the Beach campaign.

“He runs my schedule on a daily basis [...] he takes my phone calls, answers e-mail messages for me and tells me when to be where.”

Paramount to the duties of a campaign manager are the abilities to organize and co-ordinate all facets of a presidential campaign. The candidates will rely upon their respective managers to handle everything from volunteer activities to helping draft policy.

“You have to make sure you’re election-ready in terms of all the promotions and materials,” Dan Moulton, campaign manager for candidate Emily Rowe, said.

“Making sure you’re supporting the candidate in terms of their preparations for the campaign, working to develop a platform, working through volunteer outreach [and] co-ordinating a team are all part of it.”

Heather Graham, campaign manager for Ashley Bushfield, identified similar requirements to those discussed by Moulton.

“Organizing volunteers and working on the campaign strategy, so getting the word out about Ashley’s platform [is crucial].”

In all circumstances, a healthy working relationship lies at the core of a successful manager and candidate team. In the case of presidential candidate Ryan Cassidy, his relationship with his manager and twin brother Tyler extends beyond the realm of politics.

“We’re colleagues also, in addition to being brothers,” Tyler said. “We’re in business together.”

Ryan and Tyler work together in the wholesale ink business, something Tyler credits to strengthening the respect the two share for one another.

Political and organizational familiarity is quite prevalent among this year’s candidate pool, such as the case with Bushfield and Graham. Both have worked closely together in the Women’s Issues Network at Western.

“[Bushfield] is the co-ordinater of WIN and I started to volunteer there and from there we worked on a few things,” Graham said in discussing how she and Bushfield met.

Similarly, it was involvement in student politics that brought Rowe and Moulton together.

“I met Emily for the first time about a year and a half ago when we were both elected presidents of our respective constituencies. We worked together this year on a few different projects through the USC, [...] so her and I have gotten to know each other that way.”

A final characteristic common to all managers is an unwavering belief in their candidate’s ability to be a successful president based on their actions outside of the political arena.

“I’m not really involved in the USC too much [...] but I really believe in him, he’s just such a great guy,” Lindquist said.

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