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Priority Relationships for Newly Elected Leaders

  • Priority Relationships

This post is part of our Elected Leader FAQ guidance for newly elected leaders.

The professional relationships newly elected leaders form early in their first term set the tone for their time in office. The titles may vary among districts and jurisdiction, but strong relationships with the people in these positions remain vital for successful leadership in elected office.


Legal Counsel

The attorneys who work in your governing body can answer questions about the political process and guide you through the steps to change policy in your jurisdiction.


Ethics Administrator

This person oversees elected leaders adherence to gift and ethics rules. They can advise you on how to remain in compliance. The ethics administrator can guide you through the process of disclosing potential conflicts, properly reporting gifts or contributions, and complying with sunshine laws. Keep this person’s contact info handy!


Governing Body & Committee Leadership

These individuals will decide whether or not to bring your ideas or policy changes up for a vote. If you will serve on a committee, a productive relationship with your elected body’s leadership (e.g., board president) will make an assignment to the committee of your choice more likely. Once you are assigned to a committee, having a positive relationship with committee leadership (e.g., committee chair) will make it easier to move your bills or resolutions through the committee process.




  • What questions do you have for the people in these key roles?
  • Which of your colleagues in these roles have you already met, if any?
  • What influence could they have on your policy agenda?

Explore how to set yourself up for success as an elected leader.


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