Thinking about serving your community by running for elected office? Engaged and concerned citizens like you make it possible for us to make meaningful impact on issues affecting the good citizens of Outagamie County.
Running for office is a sacrifice. You’ll personally invest money, time, and talent, and you’ll be called on to ask for the same from family and friends. The days can be long and the work can be hard, but the rewards are worth it. Not only will you have the opportunity to make a positive impact in your own life, but you will have the opportunity to enhance the lives of your neighbors as you serve your constituents.
The DPOC has a Candidate Recruitment and Development Committee in place to help you with everything from what office might be right for you to how to assemble an effective kitchen cabinet. We also help connect you to the resources at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and partner organizations like Wisconsin Progress. Our goal is to find, train, and support successful candidates to WIN at all levels, in all elections!
Understanding What it Takes
It is fantastic that you are planning a run for public office! Running for office to serve your neighbors is one of the most noble things you as a citizen can do for your community. You may be asking yourself if you have what it takes. While everyone can run for office, not everyone will be successful. We’ve put together a basic list of requirements you’ll need to have (or be able to obtain) if you want to have the very best chances of winning!
- Vision – You’ll need to formulate your candidate’s statement. Be clear on why you want to run. What is your reason? Be ready to tell your story.
- Friends – You will need a network of friends who can be the true workers of your campaign. People who can be your campaign manager, treasurer, volunteer coordinator, etc. can help free up you (the candidate) to knock on doors and meet your voters!
- Connections – This is slightly different from friends. It helps if you are involved in other civic, business, nonprofit, or religious organizations and communities. The more people who know you and your talents already, the more people you will have promoting your candidacy.
- People Skills – You don’t have to be an extrovert, but you do have to be comfortable interacting with a wide variety of people. When you run for public office, you will deal with the public, after all!
- Work Ethic – Campaigning is tough! You’ll have to make calls, knock doors, host meet & greets, and attend meetings and events. You will have to do hard things too, like ask for money and votes. Make sure you are ready to do the work!
- Research – Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the position you are running for. What does it do, and what you can offer? Do you know the issues facing your district or community? Understanding what local issues are being debated in your community can help you develop a strong position statement and be ready for questions.
- Organization – Running a campaign means lots of balls to juggle. Make sure you (and your kitchen cabinet) have a system to keep track of your money, efforts, etc.
- Money – Depending on the office you are running for, you will need to self-fund or fund-raise to cover the expense of your materials (pamphlets, signs, buttons, etc.). Costs can vary depending on the number of items you decide to produce, how you produce them (in-house or printers), and the quantities of those items. You can expect to spend about $400-$1,000 for local races.
Understanding County Party Support
Membership in your county’s Democratic party is an excellent way to assist your campaign and increase your chances for success. It is important to understand what you can expect from us and what we will expect from you. It is also important to understand what you shouldnot expect from us. Having a clear picture of the support provided can help you make informed decisions regarding your campaign.
The Democratic Party of Outagamie County (DPOC) offers two tiers of support for local, non-partisan races for Party members and Non-Party members. We’re happy to review that with you if you’re thinking of running.
For state and federal races, any candidate on the Democratic ticket in the general election has the full support and resources of the county party at their disposal. Constitutionally, we must remain neutral in partisan primaries and endeavor to provide equal exposure of all candidates to our members.
In addition to our support there are many other organizations who help support you as you run for office!
To increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training, and providing a powerful network.
We envision a Wisconsin that is a better, more equitable place to live, work, and raise a family. To meet that end, we recruit, train, elect and develop progressive candidates and leaders for local and state legislative office.
Ready to hit the ground running or want to start but don’t know how?
Schedule a one-on-one to discuss your interest! We would love to hear from you and help you make a plan, whether it be for the next election or two years from now. Building a deep bench is key to long term success.