West Virginia Congressman-Elect Shares His Winning Strategy
He didn't leave anything to chance. He knew what was needed to win. West Virginia Congressman-elect Alex Mooney knows politics well enough to know a good heart isn't all it takes to win an election. The first Hispanic elected to Congress in West Virginia history, Alex is a Leadership Institute (LI) grad who will join a U.S. House of Representatives with a Republican majority. Owning a majority brings expectations, and Alex is excited to do his part in meeting those. “With the strong majority I will be joining in the U.S. House of Representatives, voters are going to expect us to fight for them and deliver results,” he said. One of Alex's primary focuses is scaling back government regulations in West Virginia. “I plan to fight back against devastating job losses created by the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” he said. By working to reduce restrictions in his district, Alex will address a nationwide problem: jobs. “Perhaps the biggest issue facing my state is the lack of good paying, quality jobs,” he said. “West Virginia is blessed with several great Universities and Colleges but too many of those graduates leave West Virginia to find jobs. I am working every day to bring new jobs and industry to my district.” An offspring of crippling government regulation, job shortages have led many of West Virginia's brightest young people to leave the state, a problem Alex is committed to solving. “By reigning in an out-of-control EPA, jobs will begin to return to areas of my district which desperately need them,” he said. In the wake of widespread disillusionment with the policies of the far left, many Americans are looking to conservatives like Alex to present solutions to the pressing issues the U.S. faces. “Voters were disappointed in the failed policies of Barack Obama,” Alex said. “The voters in West Virginia made it clear to me in my campaign that they wanted someone to fight back against Obama's war on coal and assault on our individual liberties.” The best way to combat intrusions upon personal liberty is to take ownership of the problem and begin working from the local level up to protect the freedoms being threatened. Fortunately, many conservatives are accepting that responsibility and are becoming more active in local campaigns. “Local Grassroots efforts are of the utmost importance in any Congressional campaign,” said Alex. “I was sure that my team had an aggressive plan that executed targeted door knocking and volunteer phone calls.” Local involvement is crucial for successful campaigns. It's vital for a winning candidate to have a loyal, passionate, and well-trained base to build off of. After winning a hard-fought campaign in November, Alex knows this as well as anyone. “I won my race by just under 5,000 votes and can say for certain that my team's get out the vote push made the difference,” said Alex. Thanks to the improved methods of organization many conservative politicians are adopting, it's becoming easier for local activists to channel their support and energy effectively. Volunteering to knock on doors, make phone calls, or engage in social media efforts all contribute greatly to a campaign's success. “Pick a candidate in your area with whom you are ideologically aligned and volunteer on a regular basis,” Alex said. Even if it's a few hours after work or on the weekends, the regular contributions add up. There's no substitute for face time when it comes to bringing politics to a personal level. The most effective means of reaching voters is still door-to-door campaigning. “When I first ran for the State Senate, I had no name ID and was running against a 16 year incumbent,” Alex said. “I beat him by a wide margin because I personally knocked on over 10,000 doors. I have knocked on doors in every campaign since.” He also stressed the importance of attending local meetings. Woody Allen said 80 percent of life is showing up. Morton Blackwell's 22nd Law of the Public Policy Process is, “Never miss a political meeting if you think there's the slightest chance you'd wish you'd been there.” Being a part of a team of like-minded activists is essential. No one is an island, and a campaign built on individuals who refuse to work together is a losing campaign. “You should attend meetings of conservative groups in your area such as tea party chapters, pro-life groups, Republican clubs, and other organizations that believe in aggressive political grassroots action,” said Alex. The networking that occurs at meetings has more than just short term benefits. Alex has taken many LI trainings and regularly uses the connections he made during them. “To this day I have friends from those first LI schools I attended and some of them even traveled to help me in my most recent election,” he said. Having a loyal, close-knit team is a vital step towards winning a campaign. Having the training, resources, and strategies to win is another. “The Leadership Institute is where conservative activists, candidates, and campaign workers go to receive the training they need to win elections,” Alex said. “Everyone who works for me is required to receive ample training from the Leadership Institute.” Grassroots activism works, from local school board elections to congressional campaigns. Every conservative owes it to their cause to learn how to win and then put that knowledge into action. A testament to the effectiveness of combining belief with hard work and winning strategies, Alex is part of an exciting opportunity for the conservative movement. Now, more than ever, we need leaders. Alex has answered the call. Please congratulate Congressman-elect Alex Mooney on winning LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 43 types of training programs, working with more than 1,386 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, more than 155,000 conservative activists, students, and leaders have been trained. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.