Thursday, November 15, 2007

Building The Farm Team

City Councilor Paul Ferro knows how to win elections. Paul along with Stephen Levy, the Marlborough GOP Chair are doing great things. Paul is also reviving the Worcester Young Republicans and I had the pleasure of attending their first event last month.

MassRoots interviews Paul Ferro, enjoy!

Paul, first congrats on the victory. With the Democrats targeting your seat, you were able to hold on and get reelected as city councilor in Marlborough. Can you explain who your opponent was and what the Democrats did?

Thank you for taking the time to talk about my campaign. I represent Ward Two here in Marlborough. Ward Two has a population of approximately 5,000 with 2,800 voters. So in terms of size, my district is comparable to many towns in eastern and central Massachusetts.

We have non-partisan races for municipal office, but being the former chairman of Marlborough’s Republican Party, I am well know as being a Republican.

In this last election, the Democratic State Representative’s former Legislative aide challenged me. The Marlborough Democratic Party, and the State Representative made a concerted effort to defeat me. My challenger’s literature highly touted her work as the State Representative’s aide, and had multiple photos’ of her and the Representative. In addition, he personally called voters to ask them to support her, display a lawn sign, and/or place one of her bumper stickers on their cars. Her donor list was a who’s-who of Marlborough Democrats, including the Democratic Party Chairman, the Representative, the Representatives Father-in-law, etc. The Democratic Congressman (Jim McGovern) also personally went door-to-door in my ward drumming up support for her and other Democratic candidates. He also gave her a substantial donation from his PAC.

Just as one example, my campaign estimated afterwards that 90% of her lawn sign locations were locations that had previously displayed a sign for either the State Representative, or the Congressman.

The Marlboro RTC is very active, how many other Republicans are elected in Marlborough?

We now have four Republicans on the City Council, including the Council President. There are six Democrats, and one independent that leans Republican. We also have one seat on the School committee. By comparison, when I became Chairman of the GOP in Marlborough in 2001, there where two-registered Republican elected officials.

So we have definitely been headed in the right direction in getting Republicans elected here in Marlborough.

What helped your campaign bring you to victory?

I cannot express what a great tool VoterVault is. Over the years, the Marlborough GOP made an effort to compile the voter turnout lists for Marlborough elections, and put them into a usable database. VoterVault provides the same data with only a few mouse clicks.

The access to phone numbers greatly eased my turnout efforts. On Election Day, my phone list of target voters for making GOTV calls became corrupted, but thanks to VoterVault, I was able to re-create it in minutes instead of hours!

Using VoterVault, I was able to easily household the voter list for my ward (a tough task to do!) so I could target my mail to households as opposed to individual voters. Voter vault also adds the Zip +4 which speeds mail delivery, particularly bulk mail, immensely. My mail would be dropped in the mail by my printer in Woburn at 7PM on Friday, and be in my mailbox in Marlborough by 1PM Saturday.

The walking lists you can create using VoterVault made my door-knocking and literature drops more effective, as I could easily skip houses on a street without a voter, or that where actually outside my district.

I know from experience of having to create my own database for my prior campaigns how much easier VoterVault can make it on a campaign for Ward Councilman or Congress to reach voters. It will only get better with time.