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What You Need To Know To Run For Office

What does it take to get here?
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
What does it take to get here?

Have you ever looked at a politician and thought, “I could do a better job than that.”?

You’re not alone. Many Americans with a range of political experience are deciding that 2018 is their year to either run for the first time or to move up to a higher office.

Across the country, newcomers are running for school boards, city councils and other posts. A record number of women are running for governor. And thousands of scientists are hoping to get into politics.

As the Washington Post reports:

As of this week, the Center for American Women and Politics had identified 390 women who have filed or are likely to file as U.S. House candidates and 49 women likely to run for the U.S. Senate. Among House candidates, the vast majority — 82 percent — are not incumbents. If those numbers hold up, it would constitute the largest pool of female congressional candidates in history.

All of them seem to be heeding President Obama’s parting words to the nation. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself,” he said.

And there are resources available for those who are interested in running for office. Websites like Ballotpedia track races and the resources needed to be competitive. And the group New American Leaders offers trainings.

What does it take to run for office — any office, as a member of any party … or no party? And what does it take to win?


Amanda Litman, Author, “Don’t Just March, Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself”; co-founder of the PAC Run for Something; ; @amandalitman

Tom Davis, Former U.S. Representative, R-Va., (1995-2008); Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Deloitte

Sayu Bhojwani, Founder and president, New American Leaders; New York City’s first Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs; author of the forthcoming book: “People Like Us: Knocking At Democracy’s Door”; @SayuBhojwani

Angela Cobián, Director, Denver Public School Board

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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