July 17, 2018 Press Releases and Announcements


by DPVA Press Office

RICHMOND, Va. –  This last Saturday, as part of its mission to train and promote leaders at all levels of government, the DPVA hosted the 2nd Annual “Pat Jennings Project” at George Mason University in Fairfax County.

For a second year in a row, the DPVA partnered with the National Democratic Training Committee in executing a day-long training.

Among those attending were candidates, campaign staff, activists and others considering running for election or re-election to local office. The participants cycled through workshops that focused on fundraising, data, digital, field, and communications.

“We were thrilled to welcome so many participants to this year’s Pat Jennings Project training for local candidates at George Mason University,” said Chairwoman Susan Swecker. “The Pat Jennings Project signifies our commitment to Democrats who seek to serve at the local level –  from school boards, to town and city councils, to constitutional officers. By investing in candidates running in local races, we are investing in the future and well-being of our Party and our Commonwealth.”

One of the five sessions participants attended was a Voter Action Network (VAN) “Votebuilder" data training led by DPVA Data Director Brenner Tobe and Deputy Data Director Katie O’Grady. As the most widely used voter contact tool, Votebuilder is one of the most important services the DPVA offers. “Saturday was a great opportunity to give an overview of program specifics and answer questions about gaining access to and daily use of Votebuilder,” said DPVA Data Director, Brenner Tobe.

Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker led a lunchtime panel on what it is like for local candidates to run for office. The panel consisted of Loudoun County Supervisor, Koran Saines, Senator Tim Kaine’s Campaign Manager, Keren Charles Dongo, Former Youth Vote Director for Delegate Chris Hurst, Brit Bender, and Former DPVA Political Director, Kees Nordin. Panelists took questions from trainees during a lively and informative session.

The Pat Jennings Project is named for Virginia’s former Ninth District Congressman Pat Jennings, who emphasized the importance of electing Democrats “from the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House.”