Dozens attended democratic training session with campaign tips ahead of 2020 elections
The 2020 election is still more than a year away but democrats in Hawaii are already planning ahead and they want more regular citizens to join in the races. A training Saturday morning hosted by the National Democratic Training Committee, hoped to make campaigning easier for potential candidates and volunteers. For example, before the internet, a traditional campaign method was to knock on doors to meet new voters. But with social media, event organizers say it's a game changer.
"We cover story of self and being able to talk about yourself, your campaign, why you're running, why we're doing this very important work on the ground as well as digital strategy. Knowing how to tell your story and convey your story online," Collyn Warner, National Democratic Training Committee, said.
One speaker focused on the power of social media because of its effectiveness with communicating to a large group of people at a low price. That was an issue Ernest Carvalho faced when he unsuccessfully ran for governor last year.
"It kinda bundles it all together so it's actually helping me see what I didn't do right the last time and bring it into my campaign," Carvalho said.
He hopes to utilize the tips he learned in the session in his next campaign.
"It'll help me connect with more people. Especially the digital side but it helps me understand even with social media and all that, I still need to be out knocking doors," Carvalho said.
The training committee is known to provide resources for candidates on and offline.
"Making sure our local candidates as well as state level candidates and campaigns and local infrastructures has that support," Warner said.
Even though Hawaii is historically a blue state, party leaders say they want to keep attracting new supporters. In the 15 presidential elections the state participated in, electoral votes have only gone to a Republican presidential candidate twice: Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Richard Nixon in 1972.
"It's desperately needed to make sure that we continue to train and build our skill sets for our members," Michael Golojuch Jr., Democratic Party of Hawaii, said. "It's great to have them come in here from the mainland but we are gonna have to figure out how to localize it to make sure it works with us."
Local democratic party leaders say that was the first time there's any type of training locally. They hope to host more sessions on Oahu and across the state.
KITV4 also reached out to the Republican Party of Hawaii. A representative told me they hosted a similar event last month that geared towards campaign training. He says they're focusing on recruiting volunteers and candidates plus registering more voters.