Candidate Recruitment Program


Candidate Recruitment Programs are chamber-led efforts to identify and encourage business-friendly individuals to seek elected office, generally at the local level.


Chamber government relations is about ensuring a policy and regulatory climate that is stable and generally conducive to business. The work is a lot easier when elected officials understand the business community and share your chamber’s values. An effective candidate recruitment program can help ensure that local office holders are business allies.

Candidate recruitment is often done through an academy style program. The academy may be an intensive day or half day program, or split into several shorter meetings. Content is generally is a mix of information and motivation. Presenters are often former elected officials or campaign consultants.

Some basic questions to address in a Candidate Recruitment Academy are:

  • Why you should consider running (misconceptions that should not hold you back)
  • What it’s like to run for and serve in local office
  • Legal requirements, forms and deadlines
  • Raising Money—how much, when, and from where?
  • Ethics and Conflict of Interest
  • Campaign Strategies
  • Campaign Communications – in neighborhoods, at forums and in the media *Organizing a campaign team
  • Developing a campaign theme (slogan, colors, signs, pamphlets, mailings etc.)
  • Policy issue briefings
Candidate recruitment academies generally focus on local races – city council, county commission, school board. Local young professional groups or the League of Women Voters are likely partners to run a candidate recruitment academy. For some chambers, a candidate academy is run as an extension, or part of, an established leadership program. Invitation to participate in a candidate academy may be reserved for chamber members or open to the community at large.


View all Candidate Recruitment examples in ACCE's Samples Library.

Southwest Indiana Chamber Billings Chamber of Commerce
  • School Board / City Council Candidate School 2015 Program - This complimentary program is designed to inform prospective school board or city council candidates on topics to understand election/campaign strategies for running for public office and to understand the duties and responsibilities if elected.
Brown County Clerk's Office Candidate Guide Central Florida Leadership Institute Fox Cities (WI) Chamber of Commerce Candidate Training Agenda Greater Des Moines (IA) Partnership - Public Service Academy Greater Topeka (KS) Chamber of Commerce Candidate School Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry Green Bay Area (WI) Chamber of Commerce How to Run The Longview (TX) Chamber Candidate Academy Lubbock (TX) Chamber of Commerce Candidate Questions Muskegon-Lakeshore (MI) Chamber of Commerce

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Last updated: 12/16/2015

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