A new group hopes to help Democrats win political races across the country, including in Republican-dominated Nebraska.
National Democratic Training Committee founder Kelly Dietrich finds few understand what it takes to win a campaign.
“When people run for office everyone thinks they know how to run a campaign, right? You go knock on some doors, you shake a few hands, you kiss a few babies and, voila, you win an election,” Dietrich tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That’s not reality.”
The committee is dedicated to giving any Democrat access to free training to run and win a political campaign anywhere in the country, according to Dietrich.
During a training seminar in Nebraska, the committee trained more than 100 volunteers, activists, and candidates. Online training is also offered.
Dietrich says those who attend the training are not full-time politicians and often do not know how to run for office. The training provides lessons managing a campaign, raising money, communicating effectively, and turning out voters. It gives those new to politics the step-by-step basics of running a campaign.
The biggest need new candidates have, according to Dietrich, is to get organized; to prepare a campaign plan. The committee concentrates on candidates just beginning their political career, running for offices below the state legislative level, such as for city council, county boards, or school boards. Often, they have less than $2,500 to spend. Dietrich acknowledges the Democratic Party has neglected the so-called down ballot races, to their detriment.
Dietrich doesn’t dismiss suggestions a blue wave this fall could sweep Democrats into office in November, including into office in Republican strongholds such as Nebraska. Dietrich sees momentum building up and down the ballot.
“Democrats are fired up. They’re fed up and they want to make a difference. And the number of candidates which are running are at historic highs on the Democratic side,” according to Dietrich. “I really think that given the enthusiasm amongst Democratic voters, we’re going to see a blue wave at the local level.”
He cautions the key to winning, though, is not to rely on anti-Trump sentiment, but to focus on local issues that resonate with local voters.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]