My experience as a former candidate is one of the reasons I’ve worked so hard, for so many years, in support of the San Diego County Democratic Party. I learned then that candidates need the help of a team to win. And I never wanted another candidate in San Diego County to feel that they were running alone and making it up as they went along.
That’s why I made training a priority when I became County Party Chair in 2013. Sharing my own experiences – and the resources that the Party has developed – has allowed us to organize an excellent campaign training program. We want every candidate to be prepared with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to run smart, strong campaigns.
Running for office can be both exhilarating and exhausting. If you ask anyone who has run, you’ll hear that, win or lose, it’s a life-transforming experience. There are few other endeavors that allow someone to become a public persona overnight, meet hundreds or thousands of people, and speak out about critical issues that impact real lives.
Becoming a candidate can also be a jarring experience. One day you’re a private person; the next day your name and face are published and posted and you become fodder for political pundits and gadflies. But you also become a leader, attracting countless people whom you’ve never known but who are eager to volunteer and support you because they believe in you.
Over the past three years, hundreds of potential candidates and staffers have attended our trainings and learned about the nuts and bolts of running for office, fundraising, campaign organizing, messaging, voter data management, getting out the vote, and more. A large percentage of our trained candidates have gone on to run and win, and today we have a historically high number of Democrats in office. From school and hospital boards to city councils and Congress, from Fallbrook to San Ysidro, more Democrats than ever are serving in San Diego County.
When you meet a candidate, I encourage you to say “Thank you for running.” They are courageous, well-meaning people who are willing to make personal sacrifices to serve the greater public good. We are privileged in our country to participate in a democracy where anyone has the right to run for office and participate in our electoral system. It’s an exciting process that we should treasure as Americans.
We’re launching another series of campaign trainings in August. If you or anyone you know would like to learn about running for office and running effective campaigns, we welcome you to sign up for one, two, or all three sessions at www.sddemocrats.org/training. Please call our office at (858) 277-3367 for more information.
Cost: $25 per session includes light dinner.
Location: Confirmed upon RSVP
Dates: Monday, August 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Campaign Organization and Management
Monday, August 10, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Fundraising and Budgeting
Monday, August 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Communications and Messaging
Chair, San Diego County Democratic Party