Candidate Recruitment & Training Program


The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the nation’s largest public employee union, was looking to proactively build a bench of new, labor-friendly elected officials in key states across the country.


Scarlet Oak Strategies built a five-state program to identify, recruit and train candidates for local, county and state legislative races.

The program identified over 60 candidates, almost all running as challengers in competitive or “uphill” races.

Scarlet Oak Strategies:

  • Built candidate recruitment models for each targeted district based on multiple dynamics including current polling, past performance indexing, individual candidate traits and changing demographic and economic data.
  • Worked with national partners such as the DLCC, National Democratic Training Coalition (NDTC) and Emily’s List to coordinate and maximize efforts in each targeted race.
  • Built AFSCME’s first-ever candidate training program, which included training candidates on labor policy, message development, field programs, media engagement and more.
  • Maintained communication with candidates and campaigns to provide ongoing strategic guidance around campaign developments.