Agnes Dalton

Area of Expertise: General Consulting
Home Base: Poplarville, MS
States of Work: MS
Pronouns: Other

Weekly Team Meetings: Monday 7:00pm CT
Weekly Office Hours: Monday 8:00pm CT
Campaign Monthly Charge: $85


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Bio: Coming from a working-class family, I am the first to graduate from college and then pursue a post-graduate degree.
I am a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with my concentration in City and County government. After graduation, I entered the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana graduating with a Juris Doctor in Louisiana law. As most Law School graduate, I became a Judicial Law Clerk for the 4th Circuit District in Monroe, Louisiana. After 3 years I was approached by a family friend who was the newly appointed Justice to the U. S. District Court in Biloxi to become his Law Clerk once he was confirmed. With that as my goal, I moved back to my hometown, but never became his Law Clerk because I found my soulmate and love of my life. I left the legal profession to join my husband’s corporation for the next 23 years handling all taxation and legal manners as well as learning a new career in the Pet Wholesale and Breeding field.
Interest in politics came in high school when I was chosen to attend the American Legion Auxiliary Girls’ State program in my Junior year. Girls’ State is a weeklong camp where the girls study and elect officials from imaginary cities, counties, districts and statewide. That experience pushed me to walk out of my shy comfort zone and as a senior, attend the weeklong seminar called Washington Workshop. Unlike Girls State, Washington Workshop afforded us the opportunity to attend hearings of various Congressional committees, Supreme Court hearings, meeting at the Pentagon and much more. It was such an amazing experience that I returned for the second session the following year as an intern for my Congressman, Trent Lott. Congressman Lott served on the House Judiciary Committee during the Impeachment hearing for President Nixon. He insisted that we be excused from our duties as often as possible to attend those hearings.
At home, our County Chancery Clerk hired me during the summer before and during my years at Law School. He too recognized the opportunity available, so he also insisted that I work in every office in the courthouse and learn what each one does. He also insisted that I work the elections first as counter and then, in his office as Circuit Clerk, as a counter of the “chad” machines. This set my feet on a path to my current involvement in politics.
After my husband’s death in 2010, my friends insisted that I become involved in the county Democratic Party as a diversion. That diversion soon led to becoming chair of the County Committee 8 years ago, chair of the MS04 Congressional Caucus and subsequently the chair of the 4th District committee of the Mississippi Democratic Executive Committee; where I also serve as the chair of the Campaign Subcommittee and a member of the Administrative Committee.
I began political consulting during my father’s election for City Councilman as his Campaign Manager and every year until my marriage. Many years later, I served as the Campaign Manager for the 2014 MS04 Congressional candidate and in 2016 as the Communication Director for another MS04 Congressional candidate.
I am looking forward to this next step in my evolution.

Advice: My recommendation to any new or down ballot candidate is to find a Finance Director and put together a fundraising team. You can loan your campaign money, but make sure it is reasonable. Do not wipe out your savings or go into debt thinking donations will flow in.
Think of fundraising as a series of rings like you see when you throw a stone into a pond. Than innermost ring is your family and close friends. They have always been your support system and can continue by launching your campaign. The next ring would be your associates. Those are your acquaintances at work, church or social clubs. You work with them and they know you but are not as close as your inner circle. Venture out from there to your social media “friends.” At this stage you should have already established a social media presence whether Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or all of them. You should gage your involvement on those sites based on your base and targeted audience. Now contact ActBlue to set up an account for ease of donating. Of course, you will always have those who do not pay online. For those you must provide an address. Most candidates use Post Office Boxes. Your final ring is to reach out to organizations like Unions, Sororities/Fraternities, and other organizations of like mind to seek both their endorsement and of course a donation.
Your next hire must then be your Campaign Manager who will organize you staff and keep you focused on your campaign and not the sideline issues that always pop up. Communications are key. The Communications should be provided with a staff which includes your Press Secretary. This team will deliver you message through Press Releases, Social Media posts, and phone calls. This is an excellent place for interns. Reach out to your local high schools and colleges for interns. Most students would welcome the opportunity to work on a campaign to learn and for resume building. If the donations allow, a small monthly stipend is in order.
Realize that you cannot be in all places always. Prioritize based on your voter strength in those areas. Budget wisely. Every aspect of your campaign should be scheduled backwards. In other words, start at election day and work back 2 weeks (what is our outreach and how much do we need). Then go out 2 months asking the same questions. Beyond 6 months, fundraising is your number 1 priority along with introducing yourself through attending government, civic, and church meetings. Make the rounds at festivals.
Remember, technology can intensify your campaign several fold from the “old days,” but there is no substitute for the personal touch. So be seen, walk the neighbors with your canvassers, and join your phone bankers. Most important of all, maintain contact with your local Democratic Party Committee. If you have a strong committee, they can be a wealth of knowledge and resources. However, it is not the duty of any Democratic Committee to finance hour campaign. They are your messengers. Use them wisely.