Run for Something will recruit and support talented, passionate young people who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.
We’ll take a chance on people the usual “institutions” might never encounter. We’ll help people run for offices like state legislatures, mayorships, city council seats, and more. We’ll do whatever it takes to get more under-35 year-olds on the ballot.
Want to learn more? Read on.
How we’re going to do this, in FOUR QUICk bullet points
1 We’re going to shout from the rooftops about running for office. Constantly. We won’t shut up about it. We’ll talk to reporters. We’ll talk to friends, strangers, the Starbucks barista -- anyone. We’ll run online ads about it. We’ll be annoying. (You'll love it.)
2 We’ll talk to every single person who expresses interest in running. Maybe over email, or gchat, or on the phone, or (gasp) in real life. This will take some time – but if this is what it takes to find new candidates, this is what we’ll do.
3 We’ll connect people to training organizations. Places like Wellstone, EMILY’s List, Latino Victory Project, She Should Run, Emerge, Higher Heights, and more are already off to the races with incredible conferences and curriculum. We’ll help feed people into these programs.
4 For some of those candidates, we’ll take our support to the next level: $$$ and staff. We’ll raise funds, donate to campaigns directly through state-level PACs, and help these folks hire professional staff who can keep the momentum going.
Ready to help build a bench?
What kind of people we’re looking for
Millennial Right now, that means under the age of 35. We need young people.
Specifically, we’ll look for people who will run on the following issues:
-- A focus on inequality, raising incomes, and creating jobs
-- Pro-health care for all
-- Pro-LGBT equality
-- Advocating for criminal justice reform
-- Knowing that climate change is real, man-made, and our responsibility to fight
-- Pro-working families & organized labor
-- Pro-voting rights
-- Pro-immigration reform
-- Pro-campaign finance reform
-- Pro-gun violence prevention
We won’t serve as the “purity police.” It’s tempting to create a litmus test for more specific issues, but when working across the country, you have to take regional differences into account. A Democrat in Louisiana, for example, can’t emphasize the same thing as a Democrat in California.
Ultimately, a progressive who shares your basic values is someone you can apply political pressure to once they’re in office. As we’ve seen, the other side will almost never yield.
Intending to caucus as a Democrat if elected Our goal is building a bench.
Diverse Our candidates will be at least half women, as well as men of color. More broadly, we’ll look for diversity of experience. We certainly need more LGBTQ Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people with disabilities to run for office, and we also need more scientists, more teachers, more engineers, and more non-lawyers to run for office.
Connected We’ll look for candidates who have roots in their communities. This is literally a measurable quality: How many Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter connections does a person have? How many contacts in their phone that live in their district still? How can we measure their possible influence in their district? We don’t want to convince someone to move home to run -- we want someone who calls a place home to step up and run.
That “X” factor 2016 taught us that who the candidate is matters. How well they communicate online and in person, how comfortable they are in their skin, and how “authentic” they can be are all important factors.
We’re willing to invest in good talent wherever it is.
The RUN FOR SOMETHING CANDIDATES
Run for Something is fundraising for a slate of young people running for office in Virginia. We'll be adding more to this list as the November election gets closer.
We’re proud of these candidates! They’re doing the important work of building campaigns, engaging volunteers, and talking to voters about progressive issues on the local level.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, VA-2
As a former Magistrate judicial officer, foster parent, one of the first females to graduate from Virginia Military Institute and a current public defender, Jennifer understands the needs of her community and has the knowledge and experience to find solutions to strengthen our economy, improve education and transportation, reform our criminal justice system, and advance women’s rights.
DANICA ROEM, VA-13
Danica is a 32-year-old step-mom, journalist, and lifelong Manassas resident. She worked as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times from 2006–2015, and most recently served as the news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel from 2015–2016. If elected, Danica would be the first out transgender person ever seated in an American state legislature.
Danica is running against Republican Bob Marshall, who is one of the most anti-LGBT members of the VA House of Delegates.
Schuyler VanValkenburg, VA-72
Schuyler is a public school teacher who is running for Delegate to fight for strong public schools, to create 21st Century jobs, and to level the playing field for all citizens. Schuyler is raising his three children in the Lakeside neighborhood in Henrico County, and he teaches government and history at Glen Allen High School.
Schuyler’s running for an open seat -- the Republican who’s retiring, Jimmie Massie, has been uncontested the last three cycles.
Joshua Cole, VA-28
Joshua Cole is motivated by the convictions of his faith and his civic duty to be a uniting force for a divided nation. Joshua will be a strong advocate for public education, transportation, health care, criminal justice reform, environmental protection, and the rights of the LGBTQ community. Joshua would be the first African American to represent the 28th District.
VA-28 is the home district of VA House Speaker Bill Howell, who has represented the area since 1992. He has run uncontested for nearly every election since he got into office. Speaker Howell is retiring, so this is an open seat.
Kellen Squire, VA-58
Kellen Squire is an emergency department nurse from Barboursville, Virginia, running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 58th District, the seat once held by Thomas Jefferson. He hopes to help build a new generation of leaders to take back the torch of civic engagement and restore the ideals our country was founded on. He is ready to stand up for working Virginians, to fight tirelessly for families, and to ensure that tomorrow brings a promising and prosperous future for his district.
Kellen’s race in particular is a fun one: He’s running against Robert Bell, who’s gone uncontested the last two cycles. Rob Bell is as conservative as they come.
Chris Hurst, VA-12
Chris Hurst is a former broadcast journalist and anchor for WDBJ7 (CBS) in Roanoke, Virginia. The on-air murder of his late-girlfriend, fellow journalist Alison Parker, has motivated Chris to run for public office and fight for families in Southwest Virginia. As Delegate, he vows to give a voice to the voiceless, demand support for public education and protect those at-risk to violence and abuse.
Chris will be up against Republican Joseph Yost -- flipping this seat matters for winning back the Virginia legislature.
Donte Tanner, VA-40
Donte Tanner is an Air Force Veteran, small business owner, husband and father. Donte, who was taught the importance of service from his parents, is running because he wants to continue serving his country and carry on the Air Force Academy's tradition of putting "Service Before Self" by fighting for Virginia families.
Donte is challenging Republican Tim Hugo, who is the House of Delegates’ majority caucus chairman.
If you are thinking about running for office, or thinking about thinking about running for office, or just want to have a conversation about what it might be like, we’re here to help you -- click RUN.
If you want to get updates as we build the Democratic bench and make sure we have young, scrappy outsiders running with every possible resource we can get them – click STAY UPDATED
If you want to volunteer with Run for Something -- click HELP.
WHO WE ARE
Hillary Clinton’s email director. (The other emails.) Responsible for raising more than $330 million online. Charlie Crist’s digital director when he ran for governor in 2014. One of the first employees at Organizing for Action as deputy email director. Email writer for Barack Obama’s re-elect. Northwestern University graduate. Bookworm. Feminist. Nationals fan. Dog owner.
Ross Morales Rocketto
A progressive political operative with more than a decade of experience in campaign management, grassroots organizing, and data/analytics. Currently a principal at Smoot Tewes Group. Formerly a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting’s innovation center. Worked in Iowa in 2007 for Bill Richardson, and in 2005 for Julian Castro. Married, one dog, two cats.
But we’re not doing this alone. We’ve got an amazing (and growing) board of advisers who are helping us think through this project...
Cristobal Alex, President, Latino Victory Fund
Garrett Arwa, Political Director, For Our Future Fund
Mike Blake, member of the NY state Assembly for the 79th district
Amanda Brown, Campaign Director, For Our Future Fund
Jon Carson, former executive director of OFA & Obama 2008 field director
Brad Elkins, Deputy Campaign Manager, Jason Kander for Senate
Teddy Goff, digital & tech for Obama 2008, Obama 2012, and Hillary 2016
Sabrina Hersi Issa, CEO, Be Bold Media
Omar Khan, Obama campaign & admin alum
Andy MacCracken, student advocate
Aneesa McMillan, Deputy Communications Director, Keith Ellison for DNC Chair
Caitlin Mitchell, VP of Digital at EMILY's List
Jen O'Malley Dillon, Partner, Precision Strategies
Charles Olivier, CFO, Democratic National Committee
Emmy Ruiz, Campaign operative
This is brilliant. Take all my money, please.
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