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In light of the recent local elections in Massachusetts, I have put together a few resources for potential candidates. Electioneering is a science and a skill.

Liberals and conservatives win elections. Republicans and Democrats win elections. Most of the candidates who win don't do so because of their ideology, but because they understand how to influence the electorate. Winners understand how to identify the voters who can be persuaded, and they concentrate on those folks.

There are lots of available resources for candidates.

In my opinion, the best day-by-day how-to manual for a local candidate is an old book by an elected judge. Retired Judge Lawrence Grey of Ohio served on the Ohio Appeals Court. Judge Grey wrote How to Win a Local Election for well-meaning citizens who want to win elections but don't come to the process with a knowledge of how elections are won.

The book is relatively old and it doesn't cover social media or technology. On the surface, this is a defect but trust me, the lack of information is in many ways a benefit. Political campaigns are about personal contact and this book is about the importance of one on one personal contact between the voters and the candidate.

A book even older and more influential than Judge Grey's manual is the Plunkitt of Tammany Hall by the legendary New York City Ward boss George Washington Plunkitt. The book is a classic and it is short. If you don't read it, you have already lost.

Go out and learn the craft of winning elections.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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