Town Democratic Committees
Did You Know?
Town committees are as grassroots and you can get! It’s where Democrats come together to discuss political issues and work to get Democrats elected to office. We work:
- To develop a strong and active local party organization that includes dedicated volunteers and capable candidates.
- To play the primary role in the planning and waging of campaigns for local offices.
- To serve as a link between Democratic voters and their elected officers.
- To engage in activities to increase visibility and build our volunteer base.
- To recruit Democrats who wish to serve as election inspectors.
So, maybe you’re not ready to run, at least not this year, but still want to be where the action is? Join your local Town Democratic Committee! You’ll learn how to run a campaign by volunteering with one. Several towns have openings and some have no committee at all. If that’s your town, we’ll help you start one with the support of the town next door.
The number of positions available on a town committee depends on the number of election districts it has. Some of the smaller towns have only one or two districts, such as Bovina and Masonville, while other towns, such as Sidney and Middletown, have several. Each election district has two committee member seats representing them (with some exceptions).
Democratic Committee memberships are an elected position! The election process involves gathering signatures on petitions once every odd year, following the same process that all candidates use to get on the ballot. The number of signatures required is usually nominal and varies by election district. Should there be more petitions (for candidates) submitted than there are committee seats, then the candidates are placed on the ballot. The two candidates receiving the most votes in that election district would be the winners and seated on the Town Committee.
In the interim between local election years, Town Chairs nominate interested Democrats to fill vacancies from their town on the County Committee and then such nominations are approved (or not) by vote of the County Committee.
OK, How Do I Get Started?
So you’ve considered, and selected what you want to run for, now what? Get in contact! Almost every town has a committee standing by to ensure you succeed in your bid for public office. If your town does not have a committee, reach out to the Delaware County Chair, Kathleen Hayek. These contacts will start to formalize your campaign with the necessary training, resources, and funds allocation to ensure you win!
Running for office is much like applying for a job, and your future employer is your community! You’ll need to convince as many of your neighbors as possible that you’re the person they should “hire” with their vote. Your first interview is with your Town Committee. Convince them you’re the one for the job and you are well on your way to victory.
When Should I Get Started?
Now! Today! Election calendar deadlines are quickly approaching!
You will need to be ready to start collecting signatures on petitions that enable you to get your name on the ballot on February 23, 2021. That’s just around the corner!
2021 Political Calendar
Here are just a few of the important deadlines…
February 14—Last day to change enrollment before the June Primary. Changes made between February 15th and June 28th, will be effective on June 29th .
Petitioning Season 2021
February 23—First day to sign
March 29-April 1—Dates for filing your collected signatures with the Board of Elections (BOE)
April 5—Last day to file authorization: last day to accept or decline
June 22—Primary Election
November 2—General Election
You’ll find the whole list of election deadlines at the Delaware County Board of Elections website: http://www.co.delaware.ny.us/departments/elec/election_dates.htm
We suggest you add the important dates to your personal calendar now!
While you’re at the BOE website, print yourself a copy of their very informative and useful document, Running for Elective Office in New York State, http://www.co.delaware.ny.us/departments/elec/docs/2014%20Running%20For%20Elective%20Office.pdf It’s got all the forms you’ll need to get started on collecting signatures and directions.
What Resources and Tools Will I Need To Run For Office?
Now that you’ve selected the job you want, and you know who to contact, you will want to prepare a few background materials on yourself before you meet with them, you will want to:
- Write your resume of your skills and accomplishments that have prepared you for office,
- Get a good photo of yourself for printed materials and social media posts,
- Start practicing your stump speech which:
- Tells the story of who you are and why you’re running for office
- Lists your skills and experience that will enable you to be successful
- Lists the issues your passionate about and how you will address them
- Gather your “kitchen cabinet” of core supporters –– usually your family and closest friends who will support you all through this amazing adventure you’re starting on!
- Sign up for training seminars wherever you can.
Lots more to handle later, but just get started today! Your team will help you gather the rest.
Remember you will not do this alone! You will lead a team of supporters who will have your back. We hope to be among them as you run for office and win!
Join us on Saturday February 13th at 10am for a one-hour introduction to running for local office presented by Rural Majority Project, and sponsored by the Delaware County Democratic Committee.
Ready to be a candidate? Looking to help a candidate get elected?
This event will be held via Zoom and is free. You must register to attend.
Register in advance at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIofu2vrTIuGNfFzR8kWbBikcoVsiOeDAQm
Where Else Can I Get Support for My Campaign?
Besides the Democratic Committee, there are numerous Political Action Committees (PAC’s) that will help you run for office. Choose one that best fits your issues or interests. Reach out to them! They may be willing to volunteer, host a meet the candidate event, Q&A panel, or may widen your network. It’s best to run a connected campaign, the more support you have the more success you’ll have. Here’s a starter list, but there are many many more. Tip: Google “Run for Office” for a long list of training opportunities and campaign resources!
Board of Elections
- NY State Board of Elections
- Delaware County Board of Elections
Progressive Parties and Activist Groups
Candidate Training Groups
- National Democratic Training Committee
- National Democratic Party, Best Practices Institute
12 week zoom seminar. Free. T/Th, 7-8pm, March 16-Apr 22. Register here. Deadline to register, March 14, 2021.
- Emily’s List Training Center, Run to Win
Training for progressive NY women running for office.
- Victory Institute
Training for LGBTQ community and supporters.
- Rural Majority Project
Training and consulting services for candidates from upstate rural counties.
Want to Support Others Running for Office?
Help us elect more Democrats in Delaware County! Please make a donation to our 2021 Local Candidates! We’ll use your contribution for candidate training, ads, yard signs, campaign grants and get out the vote expenses, all spent right here in Delaware County! Thanks so much!
Print This Information
For a 9-10 page document of all of the above information click below. Last updated, Jan 26, 2021. Any corrections, edits, additions? Please email them to Kathleen at: email@example.com. Thanks!