[Campaign Diaries is a new series at The American Commons. Shane Hoffman and James Hanink are candidates running for office on the American Solidarity Party – Hoffman for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District and Hanink for Governor of California. Each week, Shane and James will switch off publishing a “campaign diary” entry here at The American Commons magazine.]


Friends, pelicans, countrymen, lend me your screens.  Running for office can be a messy affair.  There are lots of i’s to dot and t’s to cross.  Lots of research to be done for position statements, to learn filing methods and deadlines, and myriad other things.  Learning how to get the word out is a big job.  Learning how to ask for money is tough.  As you can see, there’s a ton of thought and work involved in even considering a run for office.

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences getting my own campaign off the ground, that others will see that it can be done.  I am starting essentially from ground zero again, as my 2020 campaign was largely spent quarantined with a frequently exposed toddler and learning the mechanics of a campaign, sometimes with comical results.  Even with those limitations, we had a good write-in return, and I plan to make a run at getting the 3,000+ signatures required to gain ballot access.

For anyone who doesn’t know, I ran for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District as a write-in candidate last year under the auspices of the American Solidarity Party.  The winner, Steve Stivers, has chosen to leave Congress as of May 16.  This creates a unique opportunity as there is a special election for a seat with no incumbent that will be redrawn under new rules thanks to gerrymandering reform taking effect in Ohio this fall.  I am also part of a team with the American Solidarity Party creating tools to help aspiring candidates discern a run for office and get off the ground should they choose to do so.

My background is as a husband, father and step-father.  I have a masters degree in information science and nearly thirty years of experience in technology and libraries.  I am a passionate advocate for anti-hunger initiatives and founded Team Vittles with some colleagues four years ago.  We encourage libraries to get more involved in food initiatives at the library and in their community.  We speak at conferences, present webinars, have published a chapter for a scholarly work on libraries and community health outcomes, and do a sporadic podcast with partner organizations.  I broadcast Masses and special events for my parish as well as a nightly prayer broadcast and work on the team building our Rosary/prayer garden.  I do a lot of video production and networking for my day job and assist my parents’ small business with whatever remote, technical support I can provide along with the occasional emergency trip up North.

Please join me as I collect my team, file my paperwork, learn how to prepare for and give interviews, recount my first disaster with an interview from last time around, how I kept running afoul of the Twitter AI and had to battle really weird Facebook fact checks, and much more.  You can follow the campaign at:



Shane Hoffman is a technology librarian with more years of experience than he cares to admit.  As part of his work in libraries, he is a passionate advocate for creating partnerships that allow libraries to participate in anti-hunger efforts.  He is active in his parish, occasional ASP candidate for office and father/step-father to a toddler, high-schooler and soon to be first-year college student.  You can follow his anti-hunger podcast here.  or find it in your favorite podcast directory.  You can follow his politics here.  In his spare time, he enjoys listening to The Monkees, reading about economics and poverty, and pretending he’ll have time to go fishing again.