Advertisement
  1. Archive

What to do, what not to do: Tips for homecoming court campaigns

Published Oct. 22, 2013

This story was originally published on September 22, 2010.

Few things are as drama filled as high school and politics. Put the two together and you have homecoming elections. Two tb-two* staffers who are veterans of the homecoming court campaign trail offer some tips from different perspectives: Matt Hooper ran successfully for homecoming court at Armwood last year and is trying again this year. Emmy Boyd ran last year at Wharton and lost, and lived to tell (and joke) about it.

Matt: Don't wait till the last minute. In school you often can get away with procrastinating; it's not that hard to do a couple of math problems the period before they're due. However, procrastination can be a fatal flaw for a homecoming court candidate. Don't wait till election day to put up fliers and hand out buttons. Two weeks ahead of voting day is a smart time to start.

Emmy: OR, don't waste a lot of money. Keep in mind as you hand out candy, pencils, buttons and stress balls with "VOTE FOR (insert name here)!!!" on them that people are just going to eat, chew or squeeze them and then vote for their friends anyway. (Cue the sarcasm.) Bribery is worth a try, though.

Matt: Keep your enemies close. It's vital to know what your competition is doing. Don't be afraid to steal your opponents' ideas or, even better, one-up them. If your rival is having all her friends pass out cookies, have your friends pass out brownies. Everyone knows brownies beat cookies.

Emmy: OR, start a war with someone who is running. (Why wait to cue the sarcasm?) She should know that if she's running against you, the claws are going to come out. If you both win places on the court, though, she might just sabotage your time in the spotlight at the dance (with, oh, I don't know, pig's blood perhaps?).

Matt: Play to your strengths. If you can't make a brownie to save your life, look for other ways to woo voters. If you're in a TV class, make a campaign ad for your morning show. If you are a crafty type, decorate T-shirts with your name. Do what you're good at.

Emmy: OR, think really BIG. (Cue really big sarcasm.) You want your campaign to be visible and you can't afford billboards, so tag people's cars with your name. People are often lazy when it comes to washing off their cars. If you lose, though, prepare to stare at the reminder of defeat every day when you get to the parking lot.

Matt: The Internet is your friend. This isn't your daddy's high school election, so use the tools he never had in his toolbox. Make the election an event on Facebook and invite all your friends. Create a "Vote for Me" page and suggest that all your friends "like" it.

Emmy: OR ... Hmm. I agree on this one. (No sarcasm.)

Matt: Don't let the stress get to you. Yes, it's a competition, but homecoming elections are nothing you should lose sleep over. I know it sounds like a little league coach's cliche, but have fun with it. Losing can be a bummer, but it shouldn't make or break your homecoming experience, or your life. Remember, there is always the prom election to give it another shot.

Emmy: OR, expect to win. What's wrong with a little optimism? Even before you hear your name called at the pep assembly, buy a swanky court dress and explain to Grandma why you won't be able to wear that "pretty little number with the lace collar" she bought you as a surprise. Decide how you'll do your hair. You're a shoo-in. But, if for some inexplicable reason your name is not announced at that rally, remember, you will survive the loss. Really. I'm not being sarcastic.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Kathryn Norris , 57, died in 2009 inside her Chevrolet Nova. It took authorities almost 16 months to find her. How could a woman go missing inside her own home? Florida Today
    Kathryn Norris disappeared long before she died.
  2. Tampa firefighter Tanja Vidovic steps out of the federal courthouse in Tampa in during the 2017 federal trial of her sexual discrimination case against the city of Tampa. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON   |   Times]
    Tanja Vidovic will run against incumbent Joe Ayoub in the city’s March 2020 elections.
  3. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    James Busch, 53, is in “extremely critical condition" after he shot himself in the head, then was shot twice in the arms by a responding deputy.
  4. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    Scott J. Johnson, 50, was driving north near the Anclote toll plaza when he crashed into a steel post and died at the scene.
  5. Nancy Millan, director of community relations in Doug Belden’s office, has announced her candidacy for tax collector. Courtesy of Nancy Millan
    Former Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen and longtime Tax Collector employee Nancy Millan file to run for public office
  6. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, executive director of the county's now-shuttered Civil Service Board, filed to run for clerk of court on Oct. 1, the day after his agency was dissolved. [Times (2013]
    Kevin Beckner, 48, is taking another shot at replacing longtime Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank, who is retiring in 2020.
  7. All looks well in their official portrait, but ferry plans and residential development have helped open rifts among members of the Hillsborough County Commission. Back row, left to right: Stacy White, Kimberly Overman, Sandra Murman, Mariella Smith and Ken Hagan. Front row, left to right, chairman Lesley "Les" Miller andvice chairwoman Pat Kemp. ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Hillsborough County
    Stoked by Facebook posts, email blasts and angry comments from the public, board meetings showcase infighting
  8. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
    It happened during a pool party at a Tampa apartment complex. “At this time,” deputies said, “no one is facing charges.”
  9. Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller, right, addresses the audience after the Board of County Commissioners Investiture Ceremony in Nov. of 2018. JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The county commission chairman says he plans to retire at the end of his current term.
  10. Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden told employees Wednesday morning that health problems have forced him to step down at the end of his fifth term, in January 2021.
    After 21 years in the job, Belden plans to retire when his term ends Jan. 3, 2021
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement