Given a local campaign, say for city council, I have the following questions:

  1. Albeit a rough estimate, how soon should a local candidate begin publicly campaigning?

  2. How many days per week does the candidate need to work on campaigning? Assuming the candidate has expenses (rent, bills, etc.), how would the candidate work full time on a campaign and work at the same time to cover bills and expenses? Because of this issue, I would imagine people quit working in order to campaign, which makes me wonder how they pay rent and bills.

Thank you.

  • 3
    Which country and which city? You can edit your question and also add a country tag.
    – James K
    Dec 18, 2018 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


That depends entirely on the country in question.

  • In my experience, most candidates for local office keep their 'day' job and campaign in their 'spare' time. A typical job is roughly 40 hours per week, plus a bit for commute and overtime. That leaves more than 100 hours to split between sleeping, eating, and campaigning.
  • Except for a very local office, any credible candidate will have some support from volunteers. If the system has a strong role for political parties, then most candidates run on a party ticket. The local party activists will presumably provide support. And an independent candidate should have found people who will actively support him or her, or running is pointless.
  • It may be illegal to use campaign donations to cover cost-of-living for the candidate.
  • A candidate may have to collect supporting signatures to get onto the ballot. In that case, the legal timelines for that give you an idea when political preparation ends and actual campaigning starts.
  • There are countries where laws provide a 'campaign season' by allowing election posters to be hung on public lamp posts only at certain times. It may be legal to erect temporary information booths on public sidewalks, or there might be a simplified permit system for these times.

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