Grassroots organizations launched since the last national election to train young first-time candidates received thousands of requests for assistance.
First time candidates under the age of 35 are taking on entrenched incumbents in midterm races across the country. Many of them cited the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and lack of representation in local politics as their motivation.
One such organization, Run For Something, launched in January of 2017 with mostly small-donor contributions.
“We thought it’d be really small, we’d get maybe 100 people who would want to run in the first year. Instead we have 15,000 millennials signed up with us to say they want to run for office,” said Amanda Litman, founder of Run for Something.
Democratic candidates with an eye on winning Gov. Bruce Rauner’s title took fire at each other Tuesday night for the first televised debate of the gubernatorial race. The debate signaled a growing rivalry between candidates that include billionaire financier J. B. Pritzker, State Senator Daniel Biss and businessman Chris Kennedy as the March primaries draw near.
Candidates touched on ties to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, taxes, funding for education, and Pritzker’s toilet, among other issues. WTTW’s Carol Marin moderated the debate that included Dr. Robert Marshall, a frequent office-seeker, Tio Hardiman, executive director of the Violence Interrupters, and Bob Daiber, Madison County regional school superintendent.
The 300,000-strong show of force to get-out-the-vote for women and progressive candidates energized marchers gathered in downtown Chicago on Saturday for the Women’s March to the Polls.
Organizers estimated that attendance was up 50,000 compared to last year’s march, as participants joined the call for high voter turnout in upcoming local and national elections to counter policies of President Donald Trump on the one-year anniversary of his presidency.