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'Campaign School' Teaches Ins And Outs Of Running For Office

By Lauren Maschmedt
Published On: Feb 09 2012 06:42:38 AM MST
Updated On: Feb 09 2012 06:44:57 AM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

"I like to what I call 'sharpen my skates.'" Kurt Bushnell said.

Bushnell is running for District 34 Senate, and wants tips to help him with his race.

So he attended Campaign School.

"It's easy enough to come up with an idea and think you're going to be successful with the blinders on" Bushnell said. "And then you have somebody pull those blinders off and say, 'Maybe you ought to think about this.' And that's always been beneficial to me."

The one-day course teaches the ins and outs of running for a position- whether it be district senator or school board.

"Individuals learn about setting up a campaign plan, about how to do fundraising" said Donya Parrish, one of the school's hosts. "They learn about reporting to the political practices office, and reports that are necessary to be filed."

Participants brushed up on political practices and learned tips to re-vamp their campaign.

But it wasn't just candidates who took the course.

"I think the whole fundraising and campaign timeline, I mean I knew there was such a thing, but I never realized that there was so much involved in it" said participant Cookie Agnew.

Agnew came to the course with her friend Ann Tyler.

The Big Timber duo wanted to see how the system works, and learn pointers for themselves.

"I'm on a library board" said Tyler. "And that's a big thing- I thought pointers for anything, whether you're running or not."

"I think this is just a great opportunity to get plugged into the process" Bushnell said.

The Campaign School is hosted by a group of organizations including the Montana Electric Cooperative's Association, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Montana Credit Union Network and the Montana Association of REALTORS.

The Thursday course in Bozeman was the third in a four-city route. Great Falls and Missoula hosted classes earlier in the week, and on Friday the group is holding a Campaign School in Billings.