Political Party/527

Run for Something (RFS)

Website:

runforsomething.net

Type:

527 Political Action Committee

Formation:

January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Founders:

Amanda Litman

Ross Morales Rocketto

Executive Director:

Amanda Litman

Run For Something (RFS) is a 527 political action committee that recruits and assists liberal[1] Democratic candidates[2] under the age of 40 to run for state and local political offices. [3] Amanda Litman, a staffer on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign, launched RFS in early 2017.[4]

In order to receive its endorsement, RFS demands that candidates be Democrats that support a number of liberal policies, including government-controlled healthcare, liberal immigration reform, environmentalist regulatory legislation, unfettered abortion laws, restrictions on firearms ownership rights, and labor-union supported policies. [5]

In 2017, RFS raised nearly $800,000[6] [7] and endorsed 72 candidates, about 40% of whom won their elections, including a number of contentious state-level races in Virginia.[8] In 2018, the group planned to raise over $3 million in order to endorse and support over 1,000 candidates.[9]

Organizational Overview

Run For Something (RFS) is a candidate recruitment organization that encourages young liberal Democrats to run for state and local political office and supports their campaigns.[10]

Amanda Litman, a former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer, and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RFS in January 2017.[11] The pair created the organization out of what they called “anger and exasperation” at the Republican Party’s 2016 election victories.[12]

The organization was initially created to recruit and support 10 young liberal candidates in two states. However it quickly exceeded expectations and expanded its scope to recruit candidates for state and local races nationwide. [13]

Litman claims that her ultimate goal for the RFS is to “develop a progressive-leadership pipeline and discover a potential president from its expanding candidate pool.”[14]

RFS is organized as a federal 527 political action committee (PAC) and creates associated state PACs where necessary.[15] These are run in conjunction with the Run for Something Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization.[16] The Action Fund runs a number related programs including National Run for Office Day, Ran for Something, the RFS fellowship, and a RFS sponsored concert tour.[17]

Issue Orientation

RFS specifically seeks to support individuals who share a broad set of liberal values and who intend to caucus as a Democrat if elected.[18] RFS seeks to support candidates who support liberal immigration reforms, unfettered abortion, government-controlled healthcare, and an expansive view of LGBT equality. [19]

RFS candidates generally advocate for “criminal justice reform,” and support gun restrictions. The group’s candidates favor labor union interests and environmentalism. [20]

According to RFS founder Amanda Litman, RFS supported candidates must share these liberal values but the extent to which they talk about them during the campaign can vary based on the local affinities of their district. [21] The group’s strategic plan emphasizes RFS’s exclusive support of partisan Democrats, noting “a Democrat in office is someone you can apply political pressure to once they’re there […] a Republican will never yield.”[22]

Programs

Run for Something provides candidates with a four-part campaign assistance program. The program is divided into communal affirmation and validation, campaign mentorship and coaching, partnerships with liberal organizations to provide candidates with shared resources, and official endorsement driven financial assistance and communications.[23] [24]

RFS endorsements also come with financial campaign assistance. In 2018, RFS’ Virginia House of Delegates endorsements “came with $200,000 of funding and support.”[25] RFS gave money directly to candidates, paid for voter contacts, and funded “get-out-the-vote digital ads featuring Sen. Tim Kaine [D-Virginia].” [26]

Political Endorsements

2017-2018 Election Cycle

RFS endorsed 72 candidates in 14 states,[27] slightly fewer than half of whom won their elections.[28] RFS supported six successful candidates for Virginia House of Delegates.[29] One of RFS’ most prominent candidates was Danica Roem (D-Prince William) who “became the first openly transgender state legislator” when she defeated a longtime incumbent socially conservative Republican.[30]

Other notable Democratic candidates supported by RFS were Ashley Bennett who defeated an incumbent Republican for a seat on the Atlantic County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders, and Kirkland Carden, who won a seat on the Duluth, Georgia City Council.[31] [32]

After the November 2017 elections, former Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton congratulated RFS and touted the group’s results. [33][34]

In 2018, RFS’ leaders hoped to recruit 50,000 potential candidates and endorse 1,000 candidates.[35] The group imposes a quota that half of these individuals be women and/or members of an ethnic minority community.[36]

In February 2018, RFS ran a full-page ad in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in South Florida seeking to recruit candidates to run against previously unopposed Florida Republican state legislators. The ads attacked the incumbents for supporting gun owners’ rights.[37]

Fundraising

During 2017 the RFS 527 PAC reportedly raised $654,000[38] and an additional $200,000 through its Virginia state PAC. [39]

In total RFS and RFS Action Fund intend to raise $3.5 million during 2018 to fully fund the organizations’ desired expenditures.[40] Through the end of May 2018, the group has reported nearly half a million dollars worth of contributions. [41]

In June 2018, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) & Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) keynoted a minimum $2,500 per-person fundraiser for Run for Something in Washington, D.C.[42]

Partner Organizations

Run for Something has partnered with liberal and Democratic Party groups such as Indivisible, Flippable, Ragtag, Tech for Campaigns, Sister District, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), Organizing For Action (OFA), Emerge America, and EMILY’s List to support its candidates.[43]

In 2017, the RFS Action Fund teamed with 41 liberal organizations to promote “National Run For Office Day.”[44] The partners included America Votes, Campaign Greenhouse, EMILY’s List, Direct Every Voice, People for the American Way, Latino Victory Fund. The day of action was endorsed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Kamala Harris (D-California), Patty Murray (D-Washington), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and a number of other prominent liberal activists including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, and Alicia Garza.[45]

People

Executive Director

Amanda Litman is RFS’ co-founder and executive director. Prior to joining RFS, Litman served as email director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She has also worked for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, Organizing For Action, and for the 2014 gubernatorial campaign of now-U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-Florida).[46]

Political Director

Sarah Horvitz is political director for Run for Something. Previously she worked as Deputy Organizing Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Virginia.[47]

Board of Advisors

The RFS board of advisors includes a number of prominent Democratic political operatives including Democratic National Committee political and organizing director Amanda Brown, Latino Victory Fund president Cristobal Alex, former OFA executive Director Jon Carson, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s communications advisor, Aneesa McMillan.[48]

References

  1. Malloy, Daniel. “This Young Politico Is Helping Her Generation Run For Office.” OZY.com. April 24, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.ozy.com/politics-and-power/this-young-politico-is-helping-her-generation-run-for-office/82465
  2. Lin, Ziqi. “Ex-Clinton staffer to youth: ‘Run for Something.’” The Villager. December 14, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://thevillager.com/2017/12/14/ex-clinton-staffer-to-youth-run-for-something/
  3. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  4. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  5. “What Kind Of People We’re Looking For.” Run For Something Website. Archived April 6, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170406212427/https://www.runforsomething.net/millennial
  6. “Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.” Form 8872. Mid Year Report: 2017. September 28, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2017; “Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.” Form 8872. Amended Year End Report: 2017. April 27, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://forms.irs.gov/app/pod/basicSearch/search?_eventId_displayForm=true&formId=103404&formtype=e8872&execution=e1s3
  7. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  8. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  9. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  10. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  11. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  12. Lin, Ziqi. “Ex-Clinton staffer to youth: ‘Run for Something.’” The Villager. December 14, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://thevillager.com/2017/12/14/ex-clinton-staffer-to-youth-run-for-something/
  13. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  14. Lin, Ziqi. “Ex-Clinton staffer to youth: ‘Run for Something.’” The Villager. December 14, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://thevillager.com/2017/12/14/ex-clinton-staffer-to-youth-run-for-something/
  15. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  16. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  17. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  18. “What Kind Of People We’re Looking For.” Run For Something Website. Archived April 6, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170406212427/https://www.runforsomething.net/millennial
  19. “What Kind Of People We’re Looking For.” Run For Something Website. Archived April 6, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170406212427/https://www.runforsomething.net/millennial
  20. “What Kind Of People We’re Looking For.” Run For Something Website. Archived April 6, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://web.archive.org/web/20170406212427/https://www.runforsomething.net/millennial
  21. Lin, Ziqi. “Ex-Clinton staffer to youth: ‘Run for Something.’” The Villager. December 14, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://thevillager.com/2017/12/14/ex-clinton-staffer-to-youth-run-for-something/
  22. Run For Something. “Run for Something: A strategic plan.” Medium. January 20, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/strategic-plan-f428a35d9451
  23. Lin, Ziqi. “Ex-Clinton staffer to youth: ‘Run for Something.’” The Villager. December 14, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://thevillager.com/2017/12/14/ex-clinton-staffer-to-youth-run-for-something/
  24. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  25. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  26. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  27. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  28. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  29. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  30. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  31. Run For Something. “Check out our winners from last night.” Medium. November 8, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/check-out-our-winner-from-last-night-51e4923cffc4
  32. Kirby, Jen. “Meet the group that just put more than 30 local progressives into office.” Vox. November 9, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16625966/run-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia
  33. Hillary Clinton Twitter Post. Twitter.com. 11:20 A.M. November 8, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/928280098813472768
  34. Hillary Clinton Twitter Post. Twitter.com. 11:20 A.M. November 8, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/928281041927921669?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vox.com%2Fpolicy-and-politics%2F2017%2F11%2F9%2F16625966%2Frun-for-something-progressives-local-election-virginia&tfw_site=voxdotcom
  35. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  36. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  37. Schorsch, Peter. “Run for Something ad highlights unopposed Florida lawmakers with NRA ties.” FloridaPolitics.com. February 25, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://floridapolitics.com/archives/257381-run-something-ad-highlights-unopposed-florida-lawmakers-nra-ties
  38. “Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.” Form 8872. Mid Year Report: 2017. September 28, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2017; “Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.” Form 8872. Amended Year End Report: 2017. April 27, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://forms.irs.gov/app/pod/basicSearch/search?_eventId_displayForm=true&formId=103404&formtype=e8872&execution=e1s3
  39. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  40. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  41. “Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures.” Form 8872. Quarter 1 Report: 2018. April 16, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2017; https://forms.irs.gov/app/pod/basicSearch/search?_eventId_displayForm=true&formId=103404&formtype=e8872&execution=e1s3
  42. Run For Something. “Party For Something.” Run For Something website. Undated. Accessed May 30, 2018. http://runforsomething.net/party-for-something/
  43. Run For Something. “Our 2018 strategic plan.” Medium. January 18, 2018. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/our-2018-strategic-plan-1ad149e48a73
  44. Run For Something. “First ever National Run for Office Day brings in 2,000 new candidates.” Medium. November 15, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/first-ever-national-run-for-office-day-brings-in-2-000-new-candidates-80bc3d760839
  45. Run For Something. “First ever National Run for Office Day brings in 2,000 new candidates.” Medium. November 15, 2017. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://medium.com/@runforsomething/first-ever-national-run-for-office-day-brings-in-2-000-new-candidates-80bc3d760839
  46. “About: Team.” Run For Something website. Undated. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://runforsomething.net/about/
  47. “About: Team.” Run For Something website. Undated. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://runforsomething.net/about/
  48. “About: Team.” Run For Something website. Undated. Accessed May 30, 2018. https://runforsomething.net/about/

Coalition Members

  1. American Federation of Teachers (AFT) (Labor Union)
  2. Arena PAC (Political Party/527)
  3. Ascend PAC (Political Party/527)
  4. Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Action Fund (Non-profit)
  5. Collective PAC (Political Party/527)
  6. Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) (Political Party/527)
  7. Democratic Senate Campaign Fund (Colorado) (Political Party/527)
  8. Domestic Workers Legacy Fund (Non-profit)
  9. Emerge America (Political Party/527)
  10. EMILY’s List (Other Group)
  11. Every Voice (Non-profit)
  12. It Starts Today (Political Party/527)
  13. Latino Victory Project (Political Party/527)
  14. LaunchProgress PAC (Political Party/527)
  15. Let America Vote (Political Party/527)
  16. MoveOn Civic Action (MoveOn.org) (Non-profit)
  17. MoveOn.org Political Action (Political Party/527)
  18. National Democratic Training Committee (Political Party/527)
  19. Next Up Victory Fund (Political Party/527)
  20. Onward Together (Non-profit)
  21. Opportunity First PAC (Political Party/527)
  22. Organizing for Action (OFA) (Non-profit)
  23. Our Revolution (Non-profit)
  24. People’s Action (Non-profit)
  25. Priorities USA (PAC) (Political Party/527)
  26. Progressive Change Campaign Committee (Political Party/527)
  27. Ragtag (Non-profit)
  28. Ragtag Education Fund (Non-profit)
  29. Serve America PAC (Political Party/527)
  30. Sister District Project (Political Party/527)
  31. Spread The Vote (Non-profit)
  32. Swing Left (Political Party/527)
  33. The Indivisible Project (Indivisible) (Non-profit)
  34. Trailblazers PAC (Political Party/527)
  35. Voto Latino (Non-profit)
  36. Working Families Party (WFP) (Political Party/527)
  37. Young Democrats of America (Political Party/527)
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