Brian Logue: A New Leader Challenging the Status Quo
Within a couple of years of moving to La Crosse County in Wisconsin, Brian Logue came to this realization and determined that it was time for him to do something about the county’s tax-and-spend mentality. Living in an area with high property taxes, he paid close attention when a new county government building was proposed. While listening to the debate about how the county would pay for a new $25 million building, Brian decided that it was time to put some new voices on the board.
As someone who had been interested in politics but did not have campaign experience, Brian attended an American Majority campaign training and joined the New Leaders Project. “The training really gave me the blueprint for a campaign”, Brian said. “I saw the emphasis on how much going door-to-door matters, and I did it.”
Conservatives in La Crosse had recently suffered discouraging losses in several election cycles that included a State Senate recall election and a State Assembly special election. In the 2012 presidential elections, President Obama won the county 58-41 percent. For about 20 years a big-spending majority had controlled the county board, and residents were hearing the same rhetoric from the same leaders every election cycle. Liberal policies were becoming more and more entrenched.
In the 2014 elections for the 29 seat board, only 9 members faced a challenger. One of those challengers was Brian. He knew that going up against a 25 year incumbent was going to be tough, but he was determined and started going door-to-door talking directly to voters. Many people expressed opinions that there was a spending problem, but felt that there wasn’t much they could do about it.
When Brian and a handful of other new candidates began advocating for smaller government and less government spending, voters were challenged to think about what they expected from their elected leaders. The arguments in favor of greater transparency and better planning resonated. Jeff Schultz, who helped mobilize conservatives during the spring elections observed, “It doesn’t matter if they are a Republican or a Democrat, people don’t like being nickeled-and-dimed constantly.”
In Schultz’ opinion, grassroots networking, going door-to-door and meeting people made the difference. Training in fundraising and the other aspects of campaigning helped give the new candidates the confidence to actually get out there and talk to people. “County board elections are in April, so that means door-knocking while it’s still winter,” Brian pointed out. “Staying connected, especially through the New Leaders Project emails, really gave me the extra motivation and pushed me to get out there.”
Having a young family, Brian and his wife worked together to fit the campaign into their lives without sacrificing what mattered. When Election Day came, the hard work paid off as he won his seat by 19 votes. Making person-to-person contact with voters, listening to their concerns and making them aware that there was an upcoming election boosted him to victory. Several other challengers were victorious as well, allowing conservatives to expand their influence on the board by unseating several liberal incumbents.
Now a couple of months into his term, Brian is advocating fiscal responsibility on the county board. With the addition of several new voices, Brian has noticed that having a healthy opposition is causing the community to take more interest in the spending debate.
“One thing I really appreciate about American Majority is the focus on local politics,’ he said. “Local elections are where the momentum can turn. The local level is where government matters the most.”
Through the New Leaders Project, American Majority is working to train and equip new leaders to run for state and local office, and give community organizations the tools to find new leaders for their local governments. Make a pledge and join the project here.