Illinois Democrats Team Up to Announce Local Candidate Training Program

DPI, IDCCA Joining Forces with NDTC to Train Next Wave of Local Democratic Leaders




Today, the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) and Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) announced that applications are open for the inaugural Illinois Local Candidate Training Cohort. The Training Cohort is an intensive 12-week program run in partnership with the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC) for Democratic candidates running at the countywide level or below to learn the skills necessary to win local elections and lead in their communities. 

“Local elected leaders are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and the DPI is committed to supporting Democratic candidates at every level,” said Rep. Robin Kelly, Chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. “Local candidates are often running for office for the first time and do not have the resources or capacity of state or federal campaigns. This Local Candidate Training Cohort is a way for us to build the bench in a sustainable, real-time way for candidates who are running for office right now. The DPI is proud to lead this critical effort along with our Democratic partners in Illinois.”

“The IDCCA recruits, trains, and elects Democratic candidates at every level throughout the state, but we know more can be done building the bench and ensuring good people who share our values are governing. This partner program dovetails with our efforts already underway to support local candidates, which includes our annual Boot Camp.” said Kristina Zahorik, President of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association. “This expanded work with DPI will ensure our candidates get the best possible preparation to win in November. I am excited to partner with DPI because together, we are laying the foundation for the next generation of Democratic leaders in Illinois.”

“We’ve seen it time and time again: a strong investment in training local candidates yields big electoral dividends down the road,” said Kelly Dietrich, founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee. “It is encouraging to see Illinois Democrats continue to invest in their local candidates, and we’re excited to bring this program to the Land of Lincoln.”

Candidates included in the training cohort must be actively running for office in the 2022 midterm elections and cannot be running in a primary against another Democrat. The free training program will cover all basic campaign strategies and tactics. It will take place online weekly in the evenings to give cohort members real-time feedback on the challenges and opportunities faced on the campaign trail. Candidates will continue to receive support after the cohort concludes through their victory in November.

More information about the program, including application information, is available at The application period closes April 1.


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