How to Write a Letter of Candidacy

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If you intend to run for office, you need to announce your candidacy in a letter. But there are other types of candidacy letters. If you want to join the board of directors for a business or charity, or secure a role with a trade association, you'll need to know how to write a letter for candidacy as well. A letter of candidacy can be difficult to write well. It needs to be concise and specific and inspire the reader to take action on your behalf.

The Basic Format of a Letter For Candidacy

A letter of intent to run for office has a basic structure:

Greeting: Address it to someone specific if you can. Dear Mrs. McPherson is better than Dear Voter. But Dear Voter will do in a pinch.

Statement of intent: Introduce yourself and your ties to the local community. Make note of your involvement in civic organizations or public service. Then state your desire to bring positive change and how your election could have a beneficial effect. Be friendly and engaging so the reader wants to continue.

Your platform: Tell the reader two or three issues on which your campaign plans to focus. Explain why you're the candidate to take them on and how you plan to address the issues. This should be brief with one or two concise paragraphs and it should be authoritative. Make the reader understand why you're the candidate for this particular job.

Announce your candidacy: Formally state that you intend to run for public office and indicate which office and the district or seat number. Also, note the date of the election. Briefly express why you want to run. Perhaps it's an emotional tie to the community or position, or something specific happened that spurred your candidacy.

Request support from the reader: If you need monetary support, express the exact amount and the date you need to raise the funds by. But don't limit your request to cash. Ask for help contributing to the campaign as well.

Sample Candidacy Letter for Election

If you're running for the school board in your city, for example, your campaign announcement sample letter might look something like this:

Dear X:

Hello, my name is Y and I'm running for a seat on the local school board. For the past five years, I have been president of the high school's PTA where I've gained firsthand knowledge about the specific issues that affect our schools. I believe I have the ideas to help improve the system for our children.

The primary issues of my campaign will be school safety and the problems associated with standardized testing. Both of these issues are important, especially right now. In regards to school safety, I have a plan to fund two full-time officers at every school, as well as a blueprint for a successful safety committee.

When it comes to standardized testing, I know we can't get rid of it, but I have some ideas about how to better integrate these tests into our schools. Too often our teachers are forced to teach to the test, which sometimes means forgoing creativity in the classroom and a reliance on worksheets. I don't think it has to mean this, and I have some specific plans to train teachers in order to ameliorate this issue.

My passion for improving our schools is the reason why I'm officially announcing my candidacy for the school board in the fourth district. Election day is April 15. Can I count on your support?

Specifically, I am seeking funding for marketing and advertising for my campaign. I need to raise $10,000 during the next three months to meet my goals. I would also welcome your help handing out fliers or answering phones at the campaign office.

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope I can count on your vote and support.

Sincerely,

[Signature and name]

Letter to the Board of Directors

A letter of candidacy for a board of directors or trade association is much the same. You need to express your past experience, why you want to be on this particular board and what you'll bring to the table. List any issues you plan to tackle if elected and ask for support. In this case, you won't need monetary support or help with a campaign, only their vote.

References

About the Author

Heather Skyler is a business journalist and editor who has written for wide variety of publications, including Newsweek.com, The New York Times and Delta's SKY magazine. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Miami University and a master's degree in writing from the University of Washington in Seattle. Before writing for a variety of publications, she taught business writing in Seattle.