NEWSLETTER: Down-ballot Campaigns | Reed Award Finalists

February 16, 2024

Mike Biundo: Down-ballot Campaigns

If you are running, or thinking about running, for a down-ballot race or maybe even know someone who is, I have some insight for you.

The year is 2004, and after more than a decade of involvement in politics as a staffer and consultant, I find myself standing on the NH House floor being sworn in as the next state representative from my ward in Manchester. I had worked on several presidential and congressional races by that point in my career, yet this moment had the most profound impact on me. I was overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation and my responsibility to the voters who elected me. I wasn’t expecting that emotion, to be honest. Just months prior, I had to be begged to run. I was running two businesses, only six years into my marriage, and didn’t have nearly enough time for a $100-a-year job as a state representative. (Yes, for all those not from NH, that’s all that state representatives and senators make here. All 424 of them. We also had no staff, but I digress.)

That impactful moment born from arm twisting to get me to run was manifested by the hard work and strategies I had applied to win. I know first-hand what a commitment it is to put your name on the ballot and the sacrifice it takes to commit that much time. I also know that whether you’re running for the first time or running for re-election, losing is not a good option. (In fact, it sucks.)

Our company is known for running races for the White House, but we thrive and very much enjoy helping those running for down-ballot races as well. With that in mind, let me offer you some important (and free) advice while I have your attention drawn away from making fundraising calls or knocking on doors:

  1. Get a good headshot and lots of pictures of you meeting voters, with your family, and at work. You can’t do compelling mail, digital, and advertisements without pictures.
  2. Put everyone you know on a piece of paper, then call them asking for money and support.
  3. Get a good list of voters in your district. (You would be surprised by how many people don’t make this a priority.)
  4. Only use advertising (mail, phone/text, digital) that targets the voters on the above-mentioned list.
  5. Treat all advertising as a sales relationship, tracking each person and following up through Election Day.

Having walked in your shoes as a state representative in 2004, I understand the dedication, hard work, and passion required to navigate the challenges of a down-ballot race. With Ascent Strategic, you’ll gain a partner who not only brings professional expertise but also a unique perspective shaped by personal experience.

Let’s schedule a consultation to discuss your campaign’s specific needs and explore how we can work together to secure a victory for your candidacy. Please email us at info@ascent-strategic.com to arrange a convenient time.

My team and I look forward to contributing to your campaign’s success.


We are excited to announce that we are finalists for ten Campaign & Elections Reed Awards! We’re finalists for our work across the field, from City Council to President, encompassing everything from graphic design, digital, GOTV, newspaper, and phones.

Finalist Categories:
– Bootstrapped Campaigns: Best Direct Mail Piece for Bootstrapped Campaign
– Brand & Merch: Best Rapid Response Piece of Campaign Merchandise
– Digital – Advertising & Targeting: Best Campaign Meme
– Direct Mail: Best Mail Piece for Independent Expenditure Campaign – Statewide
– Direct Mail: Best Mail That Never Saw The Light of Day
– Direct Mail: Best Mail Piece for County, Local or Judicial Campaign (Republican)
– Direct Mail: Best Mail Piece for Mayoral Campaign
– GOTV & Field: Best Lit Piece
– Newspaper: Best Newspaper Ad for Political Campaign
– Phone Calls: Best Automated Phone Call

We craft strategies to help you win.

At Ascent Strategic, we devise winning strategies for candidates and political organizations. We'd love to see what we can help you achieve.

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