Campaign season is upon us

Mar 31, 2022
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Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs
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The 2022 Legislative Session is over, and legislators and candidates are in full campaign mode. All 98 House of Representatives and 25 of the 49 Senate seats are up for election on November 8. Being midway through the term of the President, this is referred to as a “midterm” election.

History has shown that the party of the President – in this case, the Democrats – usually loses seats in Congress and in state legislatures. The biggest swing in numbers that I can remember was in 1994, when the Republicans took both the state House and Senate by wide margins. Will that happen again? Hard to say.

WR will be continually active in the election process at federal, state, and local levels. We have two political action committees, the Federal and State Retail Action Council and the WR Local Government. Combined, the two PACs will likely raise and invest over $150,000. While that amount may seem like a lot, consider an average state House race can run $250,000 and a Senate race $500,000.

PACs and individuals are currently limited to $1,000 per election per candidate. Meaning WR can donate up to $1,000 for the primary election, scheduled for August 2, and $1,000 for the General Election on November 8, a total of $2,000.

In preparation for our PAC board’s voting on endorsements and contributions, WR will carefully survey prospective candidates and do a full analysis of their campaign’s viability in their district. In some cases, WR will personally interview candidates to help ensure thoroughness in our evaluation. For incumbents seeking re-election, WR will produce a voting record of the top retail issues we worked on in 2021-2022.

Why are campaigns important? They are an opportunity for those seeking office to share their vision and plan for the future of their districts and our state. They also allow voters to ask candidates where they stand on issues important to their retail businesses or themselves personally.

I encourage everyone of voting age to get registered and educate themselves about the issues and candidates. At the very minimum, vote! If you are able – invest some time, treasure, and talent to help elect someone you think will do a good job. And more importantly, if you think you would make a good legislator and have energy and something to offer – run for office! We need more retailers in the legislature. If you would like to discuss how to do this, please contact me. Candidate filing week is May 16–20.