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Recruiting Female Candidates in SC

Pictures from left are HCDP volunteer Cathy Tourloukis, Emerge SC’s Melissa N. Watson, and CF Dems President Alester Pryer.

A statewide initiative to recruit and train female Democratic candidates for public office is underway in South Carolina, a campaign that is now being conducted in 25 states with the goal of expanding to all 50 states in time for the 2020 elections.

Melissa N. Watson, executive director of Emerge South Carolina, told Carolina Forest Democrats June 11 that the organization’s objective is to help Democratic female candidates succeed as they seek positions in all levels of government.

Emerge SC has been working in South Carolina for 21 months and earlier this month graduated 14 women in its 2019 class, bringing to 40 the number trained so far in the Palmetto State. In last November’s election, Emerge SC had two winners in local elections.

“We have staff on the ground who support our candidates,” said Watson, “as to run or decide to run.”

On-site training is conducted in various counties within the state in a program that last six months, which includes such topics as public speaking, fundraising, diversity and cultural competency, party overviews and other related subject areas.

Applications for the 2020 program opened June 12 and more information is available online at Emerge South Carolina.

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