Every Vote Counted in electing REALTOR® Keith McCracken to Local School Board
They say every vote counts, and in April's School Board race in Monett, Missouri, that was certainly the case. REALTOR® Champion Keith McCracken, already a local leader, was seeking a seat on the local Board of Education to further serve his community. With the REALTOR® Party behind him, he won that seat—by a single vote.
McCracken, a member of the 64-member Southwest Missouri Board of REALTORS®, had turned to Association Executive Jessica Hickok for help with his campaign. She, in turn, reached out to Chris Janssen at the state level; in his capacity as Regional Advocacy Coordinator for Central Missouri at the Missouri REALTORS®, Janssen submitted an application to the REALTOR® Party for a Coordinated Campaign Grant on behalf of McCracken, and acted as liaison between NAR’s Campaign Services team and the candidate.
Missouri is one of only six states in the nation that allow such campaigns to be conducted with the knowledge of the candidate. Unlike the more typical independent expenditure campaign, coordinated campaigns have the benefit of being able to streamline efforts and use resources efficiently. “It’s good to be able to sit down with the candidate and find out what his campaign needs,” says Janssen. “Keith set the budget, and told us, ‘This is what I'’ like to do, and here’s where I need help.’”
There were three candidates for the two open seats on the Board of Education, which is one of the most significant governing bodies in the town of just under 9,000 residents. One of the candidates had a well established platform from having run (unsuccessfully) in two previous elections. McCracken, as a REALTOR® and a member of the Monett Chamber of Commerce, is well-known in town, but needed to let voters know about his commitment to the education of Monett’s youth. The grant from the REALTOR® Party supported print and online ads in the local newspaper; a Facebook ad that ran within ten miles of Monett; and a mailer targeting registered voters within the school district.
Unlike current politics at the highest level of government, the Board of Education election wasn’t a particularly contentious race, with no major issues at stake, and McCracken was able to promote his candidacy with interviews in the Monett Times and numerous public appearances. When the dust cleared on the April 5 Election Day, McCracken had finished second, defeating the third place finisher by one single vote.
“We’ve nicknamed him ‘Landslide,’” laughs Hickok, who adds, in all seriousness, that McCracken’s story doesn’t stop with the school board race. “I have not met a more humble REALTOR® who just wants to do good in this world. The grant money from NAR made his win possible. It got his name out there, and now the community is getting to know him like we have.”
“It was certainly the closest race in recent memory,” notes Janssen, “and Keith was absolutely thrilled. When I called to congratulate him, he reported that he’d already heard from the team at NAR, and was clearly touched that they were monitoring his ‘little’ school board race so closely. It just goes to show that the REALTOR® Party really is standing behind every single REALTOR® Champion!”
To learn more about how the REALTOR® Party helps REALTOR® Champions win tight elections, no matter how small, contact Chris Janssen at the Missouri REALTORS®, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-808-4312; or Jessica Hickok, Association Executive of the Southwest Missouri Association of REALTORS®, at email@example.com or 417-883-1226.
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