There is probably still time be the first in the race for your local or state campaign to win the election. (But not for too much longer.)
So why is it useful to announce first? If you announce first, you’ll receive press about your candidacy with no mention of anyone else, because you have no opponents … yet.
Later, when opponents jump into the race, the headline will be that s/he’s filing to run against you. By announcing first, you’ve reserved space for yourself in every single news story that’s going to be written about the race for the election.
When you announce first, the headline will be something like “Karen Green to Run for Mayor“. When your opponent(s) announces, it will be “_____ Files to Run Against Green for Mayor. The local paper has effectively “framed” the election to always include you in all headlines and stories regarding all potential opposing candidates!
Now newspapers, particularly local papers many of which are suffering from decreasing readers and reduced publication frequencies, may not be the source of the huge amount of voter influence they once were. But a winning campaign is built upon successfully optimizing all channels. As a caution, first time candidates often become fixated on newspapers and think that getting their name in the headlines will win the race for them. But, actually, smaller local newspapers are becoming less impactful to local races. This does not mean ignore newspapers, just make sure that you’re realistic about their influence on the voters. It is your job as a candidate to educate and inform the potential voters, do not rely on the newspaper.
That said, there is only one candidate who gets to announce first, and gains the competitive advantage of beginning the race for office that “frames” all the the following candidates. The cost of being first is small, get it!