The Future Winners program, established by Sister District in partnership with Run for Something and EMILY’s List, works to shore up the pipeline of progressive state legislative candidates by continuing to invest in developing exceptional candidates who came up a bit short in their last run.
Progressive donors and organizations invest significant time, energy, and resources into candidates, but sometimes even fantastic candidates lose. In these cases, losses can be the down payments on future successes. However, many candidates need encouragement and additional resources to stay in the pipeline. This is particularly true for women, candidates of color, and nontraditional candidates who faced structural barriers to running the first time.
The Future Winners program helps us move away from treating candidates as static electoral objects, and toward treating candidates as people on a trajectory of power.
Our initial cohort includes 16 exceptional former candidates from purple districts in 11 states. The program will provide these Future Winners with the skills, resources, and community they need to succeed in future campaigns.
EMILY’s List helps Democratic pro-choice women get elected into office at every level of government. By seeking to put women into office who can make significant contributions, they have systematically defined a strategic approach to winning elections that drive progressive change.
While there are many incredible Democratic candidates across the country who should run again, the Future Winners program remains small by design, to allow for deeper skills-building and skills-transfer within the cohort. To identify Future Winners, we analyze candidates’ districts and individual characteristics, as well as the strength of their previous campaigns. We look for candidates with a clear and compelling purpose for running, the ability to build a strong campaign team, and backgrounds and experiences that build toward a more reflective democracy. We also look for candidates who demonstrated teachability during previous campaigns, as well as the ability to run strong field programs.
If you’re interested in participating or learning more, please get in touch!