Feel-good update: The Presidential Down-Ballot Pledge

Run for Something
Feel-good updates
Published in
3 min readAug 5, 2019


This was a rough weekend. I can’t promise an end in sight, or even necessarily good news. All I can promise is that we’re not going to stop working to make things better however we can.

With that in mind: Today we announced our Down Ballot Presidential Pledge. A coalition of organizations including the DLCC, EMILY’s List, Swing Left/Flippable, Arena, Sister District, Emerge, the National Democratic Training Committee & Collective PAC joined together to ask presidential candidates to sign on to a simple pledge for if they win:

“As the Democratic nominee and as leader of the Democratic Party, I pledge to support down-ballot candidates in all 50 states, invest in long-term infrastructure, and recruit candidates that reflect the changing face of America, especially young people, women, and people of color. I can’t govern alone — I need more progressive partners at every level of government in all 50 states”

​So far, the followng candidates have signed on: Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttegieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet, Tim Ryan, ​and Seth Moulton. I hope more will join in this week — no matter who our nominee is, we need someone who’s committed to winning not just the White House but the state houses and city halls, too.

Speaking of down-ballot elections…

Relevant in many ways: White nationalists are building political power in part by running for and winning local elections. This is what we’re up against, and one of many many reasons why our work is critically important.

It’s worth flagging this story from last summer: After the Parkland shootings, state legislatures (including 14 with Republican governors) passed 50 laws to reduce gun violence. The Senate is broken with Mitch McConnell at the wheel, so we have to take steps forward wherever we can: That means state capitols.

The most important elections are the ones (almost) no one else is talking about: State legislatures. Roll Call has a good run-down of what’s happening and where — including this awesome map.

A perpetual reminder that the Virginia elections this fall are critically important — we can make the commonwealth a solidly blue state in less than 100 days.

In candidate & alumni news:

- Congrats to Kyonzte Toombs for making it to the run-off in the Nashville Metro Council race. While Gicola Lane didn’t come out ahead, we’re just as proud of her campaign.

- In Missouri, Rep. Ian Mackey is pushing legislation to help rectify the disciplinary inequity in MO public schools — Students of color are 4.4 times more likely to be suspended than their white peers, and students with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended than their non-disabled peers.

- Michigan State Sen. Mallory McMorrow is pushing to end conversion therapy for LGBTQ folks on the state level. While her legislation is moving slowly through the process, Aaron Stephens is pushing for a similar municipal ordinance from his perch on the East Lansing City Council. Progress can happen at every level of government.

- I loved this story of how some badass women are shaking up the Democratic Party in Alleghany County, PA — including our very own Bethany Hallam and Sara Innamorato.

Finally, FYI: We’ll be in the Hamptons on August 24th with a few of our amazing candidates; if you’re in the area, join us.

I’m still as hopeful as ever. Thank you for being part of this work.



Run for Something
Feel-good updates

Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help? hello@runforsomething.net