MoveOn's State & Local Endorsement Process

Hundreds of candidates have already applied for MoveOn's endorsement for the 2018 election cycle. Are you interested in joining them? Read below to learn more about our endorsement process for candidates running for state and local office and how you could be one of MoveOn's 100 progressive champions of 2018!  

Who does MoveOn endorse for state and local office? Progressive champions!

In 2018, MoveOn will identify, endorse, elevate, and work to elect 100+ progressive candidates who are running for state and local races, with a particular emphasis on supporting women and people of color. These candidates have the potential to emerge as future leaders in the national progressive movement and help chart the future of the Democratic Party.

In all of our work, we’ll help make sure the wave that’s building in 2018 is fueled by candidates who are running on bold platforms of change and economic, social, and racial justice. We’ll connect MoveOn members directly to campaigns to volunteer, donate, and plug into powerful get-out-the-vote efforts. Additionally, we’ll use our national platform and years of experience to bring national and local media attention to campaigns while offering campaign advice and trainings.

What are the endorsement process & criteria for down-ballot candidates?

Any candidate can apply for a MoveOn endorsement. 

For candidates running for offices other than President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, or governor, in order to be eligible for an endorsement from MoveOn, a candidate must 

  • fill out MoveOn's state and local endorsement questionnaire,
  • be a formally announced candidate and have a campaign committee (or a bank account) OR be officially on the ballot,
  • be a progressive and aligned and supportive of MoveOn's mission and values,
  • be running for a down-ballot office — this is defined as anything below governor and federal races, and
  • must be excited and proud to talk publicly about our endorsement.

Additional considerations include:

  • MoveOn prides itself on fighting for progressive values even when it's hard, and we are looking for candidates who do the same, with a particular focus on candidates who are deeply rooted in and have experience fighting for communities of color, immigrants, Muslims, and others who have been most targeted and harmed by Trump's policies.
  • Our goal is to have our candidate pipeline and endorsed candidates be comprised of 55% women and 60% people of color. While not a requirement, we are especially interested in candidates of color, women candidates, Muslim candidates, LGBTQ candidates, young candidates, candidates with an immigrant background, and candidates from labor and working-class or low-income backgrounds.
  • We are looking for candidates who are able to articulate a clear path to victory and why they are the most progressive candidate in their race.

If a candidate meets these criteria, we will consider them for an endorsement. But this list is just the beginning …

We will also keep in mind our progressive mission and values:

  • MoveOn is the largest independent, progressive, digitally connected organizing group in the United States, with a C4 that is focused on running powerful progressive advocacy campaigns and a PAC that focuses on demonstrating MoveOn members’ power at the ballot box by electing candidates who reflect MoveOn members’ values. Those values include building a country with room for all of us to thrive, with an economy that works for all of us, that welcomes refugees and immigrants, that takes action to address climate change, that makes it easier, not harder, to vote, that values Black lives, and that stands against sexism, racism, and Islamophobia.
  • By lifting up progressive candidates who are underrepresented, MoveOn will identify and expose to a national audience a bench of progressive champions who'll be the next wave of leaders at the national level in the years to come. MoveOn will build strong supportive relationships with emerging candidates in the early stages of their careers, relationships that can be leveraged by members long after the election as these candidates become the future leaders of the Democratic Party. 

We imagine a new political consensus: centered around a multi-racial populism.


  • Where economic security, good jobs, and health care access are human rights.
  • Where diplomacy is revered instead of war.
  • Where we have uprooted white supremacy, misogyny, and other forms of systemic oppression.
  • Where we’ve protected the planet for future generations.
  • Where we welcome immigrants instead of scapegoating them
  • Where our democracy is for all of us - owned and driven by people, not by billionaires and giant corporations.
  • Where individuals are empowered to make choices for their own lives and families regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, nation of origin, race, age, religion or background.

I applied–what now?

MoveOn will be making endorsements on a rolling basis through October 2018. The final decision on whether to endorse a candidate rests with a vote by MoveOn members in the relevant electoral area. 

Once you've submitted your application, MoveOn staff will review it. If staff thinks you could potentially be one of our 100 progressive champions, we will let MoveOn members decide. MoveOn has millions of members across the country, and we'll send a survey to MoveOn members in your area and ask if members want to get involved in your race.

If there is clear support for your candidacy through the member survey, staff will recommend you for the race and let our members in the district vote to confirm or oppose your endorsement. For races with only two candidates, you would need to earn 66.66% of the vote. For races with three or more candidates, you would need to earn 50%+1 of the vote. Once results are in, we’ll let you, MoveOn members in the area, and the media know. 

What comes with a MoveOn endorsement?

If you are endorsed by MoveOn, you will receive the following benefits: 

  • Use of our logo and name for your website
  • The ability to publicly note our endorsement and leverage our endorsement to encourage other national and local organizations to endorse
  • Being featured in stories we pitch to media
  • Mentions on social media to our audience
  • Ongoing help with general campaign guidance from volunteer recruitment to messaging
  • A list of resources from our national partners on how to apply for their endorsements and other resource tools available

Because every race is different and because state and local laws are complex, if you are endorsed by MoveOn, you could but are not guaranteed to receive the following benefits:

  • Direct donations
  • Help with fundraising
  • Volunteer recruitment for field efforts through email and text messaging
  • Pushing out your content to our social media audience
  • Guidance or training on creating compelling video content 

We hope we helped answer some of your questions and encourage you to apply today. Apply here. Please do NOT fill this out if you are running for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, or governor.

If you still have questions after reading this page, don’t hesitate to email us at