Run For Office

Why should I run for office?

Holding office is about public service plain and simple, and the Democratic party is always in need of good, strong candidates. If you are passionate about serving the interests of your community, contributing to a healthy democracy, and advocating for Democratic values, including justice and equity for all people, you might want to run.

What advice do you have for those seeking to run?

Running for office is not for the faint of heart. It requires a huge commitment of time, energy, and hard work, both during the election and, of course, after you win your seat! Only run if you are ready to give it your all.

As a candidate, you’ll need to identify the challenges your communities faces, articulate how you are uniquely qualified to address them, and demonstrate how you are able to collaborate with others to push for results. This will require many person-to-person conversations and appearances at public events, as well as a good amount of introspection and self-awareness.

Unfortunately, running for office is not cheap. You don’t have to be a mega-millionaire, but you will have to participate in fundraising efforts and be able to inspire others to give to your campaign both financially and as volunteers.

On the local level, our Democratic candidates often campaign as slates, or teams. This lessens the burdens on individuals and makes the most of collective power. So, be prepared to work collaboratively, as well as independently.

Don’t worry if you don’t know everything from the start! Running for office is a learning process, no matter how many times you do it.

Remember that there is a difference between campaigning and governing. Ask yourself whether you have the will and capacity to be an effective leader and a strong voice for the people after Election Day.

What local offices can I hold?

Although any person who meets the requirements can run for any office at any level, starting local is a great way to make a big impact, while gaining government experience. Local elected offices include, but are not limited to mayor, township councilperson, school director, magisterial judge, and judge of elections.

Of course, service terms for each office differ, so not every seat is open every election. Democratic party leadership can help you figure out when you should run and what position you should run for.

Where can I learn more about running for office?

Check out these guides and websites for more specifics about what is involved in a campaign and how to run for office:

Delco Election Bureau

Pennsylvania Department of State

General Information about Running for Public Office in PA from the Department of State Bureau Commissions, Elections and Legislation

Run For Something

Running for Office In Pennsylvania: First Steps

101 Steps to Victory: A How-To Guide for First-Time Political Candidates

Candidate Boot Camp: Political Campaign Checklist