Candidates

Since starting in 2018, Contest Every Race and our local partners have recruited over 7,000 candidates to run for local office across 37 states with 38% of them winning their race.

Our candidates include people from all walks of life running for a wide variety of offices - from State Legislature to City Council to School Board to Water Commissioner - and everything in between. In 2023, 47%  of our recruited candidates were women and nearly 25% people of color. We are eager to continue the work of building a more representative democracy.

Contest Every Race does not currently endorse specific candidates, rather, we let our local partners lead in choosing who to endorse. We would love to share a snapshot into some of the amazing people who have taken the bold step of running for local office. If you would like to learn more about our candidate recruitment program, send us a note.
Matthew Petersen
De Pere, WI
School Board

“As someone who never ran a campaign...I really don‘t know how I would have done it without guidance from experts Contest Every Race connected me to."

Champion for:
  • Affordable housing
  • Working families

Sarah Flaten
Cambridge City, OH
School Board

“If anything I could be a different voice and maybe someone else that is more like me would feel more comfortable running.”

Champion for:
  • Eliminating book bans
  • Advocating for students with disabilities

Gregory Williams
Lincoln Parish, LA
Police Juror

“I was thinking about running, and the text from Contest Every Race helped. I‘m running to get things done and provide leadership."

Champion for:
  • Access to medical care
  • Improving infrastructure

Ariba Khan
Ozaukee County, WI
County Supervisor

“The Contest Every Race text reminded me to run, and it was great to get connected to resources.”

Champion for:
  • Science-backed politics
  • Elder care

Elena Bishop
Greene County, OH
County Commissioner

“I appreciate Contest Every Race inviting me to run. It wasn’t on my radar before I started getting those texts.”

Champion for:
  • Veteran support
  • Senior care
Keith McFarland
St. Tammany, LA
Parish Council

“The Contest Every Race text helped me decide to run for office. I’m running for those that would if they could.”

Champion for:
  • Affordable housing
  • Working families

Sky Z. Capriolo
Milwaukee County, WI
County Supervisor

“The notion to run was put in my head because of the texts and it got me thinking...I really want to make this state safe for women."

Champion for:
  • Women's reproductive rights
  • Community involvement

Erin Shank
House District 56, TX
State Representative

“Just by running, I‘m helping the Democratic party in our community come to life again.”

Champion for:
  • Disability rights
  • Women's health

Christopher Hook
Kent, OH
City Council

“It felt good to get outreach from Contest Every Race. I’m the first person to challenge the incumbent in four elections.”

Champion for:
  • LGBTQIA rights
  • Environmental issues

Resources

Considering a run for office? Here are some resources that can get you started.
Serving In Local Office
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Learn about some of the local offices that provide an opportunity to help shape local policies and improve your community.
Finding An Office
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Thinking about running for office? Here are the tools and know-how to find offices up for election in your community.
Signature Gathering
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To file as a candidate for local office, you may need to submit nominating petitions signed by registered voters in your district. Here are some tips for gathering signatures.
Facebook
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Slack
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Join us on Facebook or Slack to connect with other candidates, volunteers and experts for resources and ideas.
Campaign Help Desk
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Professional support for local campaigns.

What Our Candidates Say

Texting encourages community leaders to raise their hand and run for office
Texting is Key
"I would not have run if you had not texted me."
Carl Griffin
Candidate for State HD 23
I Should Run
"I would have never ever thought about running if I hadn’t gotten that text."
Christina Estill
Candidate for New Albany Town Trustee
I'm Ready to Step Up
"I never thought about running for office before; I've worked in the medical field for thirty years. Being asked to run, and connecting with our county party chair made a difference. I realized I'm ready to step up."
Hazel Hudson
Candidate for Midland Justice of the Peace
The Needed Nudge
"I was on the fence about running so I thought I would wait, but when that [text] came in I thought “No, I should go ahead and run”."
Michael Markley
Candidate for District 19 Precinct Committeeman
Friendly and helpful
"Filing for your first political office can be intimidating to say the least. The consistent texting, information and friendliness of Contest Every Race was immeasurable, so here’s to a loud and heartfelt thank you!"
Shameria Ann Davis
CCISD Trustee
Starting the Conversation
“Your text asking me to run got the whole conversation started. I had a long talk with the county party chair—and within a few days I had filed to run for the Kansas State House!”
Lawrence Forbach
Candidate for State House
Texting is Key
"I would not have run if you had not texted me."
Carl Griffin
Candidate for State HD 23
I Should Run
"I would have never ever thought about running if I hadn’t gotten that text."
Christina Estill
Candidate for New Albany Town Trustee
I'm Ready to Step Up
"I never thought about running for office before; I've worked in the medical field for thirty years. Being asked to run, and connecting with our county party chair made a difference. I realized I'm ready to step up."
Hazel Hudson
Candidate for Midland Justice of the Peace
The Needed Nudge
"I was on the fence about running so I thought I would wait, but when that [text] came in I thought “No, I should go ahead and run”."
Michael Markley
Candidate for District 19 Precinct Committeeman
Friendly and helpful
"Filing for your first political office can be intimidating to say the least. The consistent texting, information and friendliness of Contest Every Race was immeasurable, so here’s to a loud and heartfelt thank you!"
Shameria Ann Davis
CCISD Trustee
Starting the Conversation
“Your text asking me to run got the whole conversation started. I had a long talk with the county party chair—and within a few days I had filed to run for the Kansas State House!”
Lawrence Forbach
Candidate for State House