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This weekend the Tennessee Democratic Party held an extensive candidate training camp, bringing in over a hundred candidates, campaign managers, and activists from around the state to hear from experts in the field of messaging, media, data, field, and fundraising.
Friday kicked off with a presentation by our Executive Director Jennifer Buck Wallace giving a presentation on the TNDP’s New Path Forward, and the large list of services and assistance we intend to provide each candidate, no matter how much money they’ve raised or how conservative their district appears to be.
We all got a lesson in paid media from John Rowley, and learned how polling can help a campaign test its messaging from Andrew Myers. The headliner of the event was Drew Westen, nationally renowned expert in crafting a message and promoting our Democratic values in a way that swing and conservative voters can understand and appreciate.
Candidates were immersed in presentations and one-on-one training exercises that honed their skills and abilities to create stump speeches, write press releases, use their door knocking time effectively, and often the hardest part of running for office…raising money.
Many of the participants left feeling empowered and ready to take what they learned and apply it to their campaign. One participant said that “[t]his training has been the most important learning experience that I have ever attended. It has been very informative and presented in the most professional manner. We are now learning how to win!” Another attendee had felt that the “training was excellent! Very knowledgeable presenters and facilitators. I am leaving with a sense that the Democratic Party is moving in the right direction…”
Over the next few months, the Tennessee Democratic Party will build on the training this weekend to help hone the skills of our candidates, as well as their staff and supporters. We are looking forward to smaller regional trainings and presentations in the future that will further the cause of election Democrats in Tennessee.
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