Building the bench: 2019 Primary Day primer

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, more than 1,200 Hoosier Democrats will appear on the ballot or are uncontested, the next step in the Indiana Democratic Party’s multi-year process to prime the pump of Hoosier Democrats running at the local level. Since late 2016, the Party has retooled its approach to direct new energy into action. That approach generated a nearly 10 percent increase in municipal candidates on the ballot from 2015 to 2019, something Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody believed was a result of renewed focus.

“Today’s city council and mayoral candidates are tomorrow’s state legislators or governors,” said Zody. “In 2017, we committed to training the next generation of Hoosier Democrats. In 2019, we’re hitting the gas pedal.”

In 2017, the Indiana Democratic Party moved to expand training opportunities for candidates and activists. Since then, the party has partnered with national organizations to hold three statewide candidate trainings, hosted nearly 50 local and regional trainings and launched a digital seminar series. Nearly 20 percent of Hoosier Democrats on the ballot in 2019 are millennials. Zody believed widely-available candidate training options are a critical part of the party’s 92-county strategy.

“Together with our county and district party organizations, we’re expanding the battleground to every corner of our state and that starts with training city council and mayoral candidates from Tell City to Elkhart,” said Zody. “We’re proud of the new faces stepping up to run and believe diversity in economic backgrounds, hometowns and life stories make our party stronger.”

More Hoosiers trust Democratic leadership at the local level and affirmed that trust by casting ballots for Democratic mayors in 2015. In 2019, the Indiana Democratic Party will build on that lead by targeting key city council races around the state. The 2019 General Election is November 5, 2019.

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