Candidate Training

Run for Office

It is never too early to start preparing if you think you might want to run for office one day. There are a number of resources and programs that are available for prospective candidates. And when you're ready, reach out to our Chair, who will sit down with you to discuss your interests in depth.

The Democratic Party of Virginia's Pat Jennings Project webpage provides access to online training and other resources.

Emerge Virginia trains Democratic women to run for office with a program that meets monthly on Saturdays for seven months. Applications are typically due in mid-October. Learn more here.

The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership offers a number of programs for political leaders including:

Political Leaders Program (PLP): Sorensen's flagship program is the PLP. It is a leadership development program for residents of Virginia interested in becoming more active in public service, whether as community leaders or as elected officials. Participation in this program has become a traditional "first step" for future political leaders in the Commonwealth. The class meets in various locations across Virginia, once a month from March through December except for the month of July.  Applications are due in mid-November.  Learn more here.

Candidate Training Program (CTP): Sorensen's CTP is an intensive, four-day program focused on the fundamentals of a winning campaign for office. Participants explore the nuts and bolts of building a strong campaign from the ground up-all within the context of ethics and principled public service. Applications are generally due the end of January with the program taking place over a long weekend in March.

VCU's Minority Political Leadership Institute is an intensive eight-month experience designed to promote leadership development for individuals interested in issues important to minority communities including: community economics, political climate, civic engagement, and equity. MPLI offers insights regarding leadership legacy and culture, personal leadership, policy and legislative processes, responsible stewardship, public service, and integrity for future leaders. Each program year, participants engage and interact with communities across Virginia and learn about unique strengths and issues facing different regions of the Commonwealth.  Application are available in January. The program consist of six two-day sessions during the months of April, May, June, Sept, and Oct. You can learn more about the Minority Political Leadership Institute here.