Follow the money
Elections in the US are much different than in Mexico. Beginning from the electorate college, mailing ballots, and also donations.
With a group of classmates from the Public Life beat and the State beat, we analyzed spending and donations of different candidates relevant for Columbia. I got district 44, with candidates Cheri Toalson Reisch and Jacque Sample.
For the story, additionally, to their financial reports, we got to talk to actual donors. That was the most difficult part. I think I dialed around 30 phone numbers that day, trying to get comments from people. Some of them were rude, others were simply reluctant to share their thoughts, but in the end, I got enough information to write my story, and you can read it here.