When Lauren Underwood first came to an NDTC Bootcamp in May of 2017, she wasn’t a candidate and hadn’t even declared a run for office.
She was a registered nurse, concerned citizen, and Department of Health and Human Services appointee. She’d seen her congressman work against her district’s interests. In this election, she knew it was her moment to make a difference.
Congresswoman-elect Underwood left NDTC’s Bootcamp on a road to victory. She is the first woman and the first person of color to ever represent Illinois’ 14th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
“I decided to challenge my sitting congressman after he cast a vote that would have made it harder for people with pre-existing conditions to buy health insurance. Since I launched my campaign for Congress more than a year ago, I’ve won my primary, outraised my opponent and polls are show us nearly tied. The National Democratic Training Committee’s support and training courses have been invaluable throughout this process.” – Lauren Underwood, IL-14
Lauren Underwood is far from the only candidate that the NDTC has inspired to run for office.
Over 24,000 people have registered for the NDTC’s Online Academy and attended our training across the country, and we are proud to have NDTC trainees serve as campaign staff, volunteers and candidates in every state.
NDTC is proud to count 171 of the candidates we’ve inspired to run for office this election cycle among those winners.
To wrap up this election season, we’d like to show the breathtaking diversity of candidates, regions, offices, and experiences in our 171 winners.
Diversity of Candidates
At NDTC, we’re proud to help typically underrepresented candidates run for office.
One hundred of our winners were women.
6 of our winners are veterans, whose time now in public office is another step in their lives of service to our country.
19 served their communities and the public interest as government employees before their turn in government.
15 of our winners, as teachers, raised the next generation of voters and candidates.
5 were on the forefront of innovation, working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields before running for office.
At least 64 of our candidates flipped their seats, red to blue, from the incumbents that held them.
Diversity of Offices
Three members of the United States House of Representatives used NDTC’s training.
We had nine candidates for state senate, 59 for state representative, 20 for city council, 25 for county board, 12 for judge, and dozens more for other positions win their races.
Our state with the most winners, including Congresswoman-Elect Underwood, State Senator-elect Rachelle Crowe, and a total of 21 winning candidates, was Illinois.
10 NDTC-trained candidates in New Hampshire; 8 each in Georgia, Indiana, and Virginia; Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, and Nebraska all saw 7 NDTC trained candidates win.
Check out where NDTC candidates won:
Highlighting Some of our Notable Winners
Our most notable winners are a great representation of our candidates at large. They come from a wide array of backgrounds, different states
Lauren Underwood, IL-14
Congresswoman-elect Underwood is the first person of color and the first woman ever to represent her district. In addition, her district was identified by the DCCC as a critical red-to-blue district and has a long Republican history. It was once represented by Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. Her incumbent Republican opponent won by 19 points in 2016; she won by nearly 4 points.
Sharice Davids, KS-03.
In November, Congresswoman-elect will serve with Deb Haaland (NM-01) as the first Native American women in Congress in 2019. She will also be the first LGBTQ+ person representing Kansas on the federal level. Her career has included time as an attorney for the Obama administration’s Department of Transportation, an attorney, an employee of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and she is also a professional MMA fighter. Her incumbent Republican opponent won by 11 points in 2016; she won by 9 points.
Zach Wahls, IA Senate 37.
Senator-elect Wahls, at only 26 years old, is a great sign for the future of Democratic politics in Iowa. When he was even younger, in 2011, Wahls gained national attention for his passionate defense of same-sex marriage before the Iowa State House, drawing on his personal experience growing up with two moms.
Melissa Provenzano, OK House 79.
State Representative-elect Provenzano resigned from her position as an assistant principal to run. After training with the NDTC and participating in Oklahoma’s statewide teacher walkouts over education funding, Provenzano realized the best solution for an unresponsive government was to get involved herself. She is first woman and first Democrat to ever represent her district.
Shelly Hutchinson, GA House 107.
Representative-elect Hutchinson was one of 81 candidates around the nation that former President Barack Obama endorsed for office in 2018, calling her “as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted” as the district she sought to represent. Hutchinson, a lifelong leader in social work, successfully flipped her district this November.
It’s Your Turn to Run for Office
When we think about the Blue Wave of 2018, we need to think of it as the beginning of our work.
We are incredibly proud of the more than 170 NDTC trained candidates successfully run for office. But, we need to think even bigger for 2019, 2020, and beyond.
As we look ahead, we need more people to run for office. We need to contest every election in every zip code in the country.
We built our Ready, Set, Run 30-Day Challenge to help you get started. Each day throughout the month of January, we’ll send you one task that prepares you to run for office. At the end of the month, you’ll be ready to start a successful campaign.
If you’re even thinking about a run for office, the 30-Day Challenge will help you make your decision.
Join NDTC’s 170+ winners and start your journey by signing up for our 30-Day Challenge today.