January 26, 2007
Politics anywhere can be a tough arena to break into, and once you're in it's tough to stay in.
Political analysts are providing a form of training for those who think they want to run for office.
One important thing any candidate needs to win an election is name recognition.
Several people whose names are practically unknown are in a candidate's training program organized by the Sorensen Institute.
"I have been considering running for office, and had been advised that is as excellent class to train you on everything to expect, which is to expect the unexpected," said Jennifer McKeever.
Jennifer McKeever and dozens of others are learning the fundamentals of running a winning campaign.
The Executive Director of the Sorensen Institute believes the program in its 12th year is unique.
"It's not a program for campaign managers, or press secretaries. This is a program for candidates, so everybody who is that room, is thinking about this in terms of their personal life, and how this is going to affect them going forward," said Sean O'Brien.
The program teaches the "nuts and bolts" of an ethical and powerful campaign.
It has has seen 43 graduates over the years. Six of them are currently serving in the house of delegates, and 21 have been appointed to boards and commissions by the governor.
First-term Charlottesville City Councilor Dave Norris took the course in 2005 and won an election in 2006.
"It really does give you the grounding that you need to put together a successful campaign. Now, just because you take this program doesn't mean that you are going to with the election campaign, but it certainly does help," said Dave Norris.
The Sorensen Institute said that its program works well because is a non-partisan event for the speakers and students.