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Ever thought about running for office?


Candidate Training Workshop offers tips to help hopefuls step up to serve

Political hopefuls have a chance to learn the ins and outs of running for public office.

The Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Beaverton invite anyone considering running for an elected position to attend a free Candidate Training Workshop on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The workshop will take place in the chamber lobby conference room at 12655 S.W. Center St. in downtown Beaverton.

“We are bringing together the experts to share with you what their experience has taught them and give you a glimpse into what it takes,” said Lorraine Clarno, chamber president and CEO. “Whether you are interested in serving on the school or park board, water district, City Council, County Commission, Metro or even in the state Legislature, this workshop will provide a cursory level look at what you will need financially, organizationally and structurally as well as provide a glimpse into what your motivations should be going into a race.

“Our hope is that this training will get the juices going and allow participants to walk away with information in hand to begin doing the harder research.”

The workshop is open to anyone in the Beaverton community, whether considering filing for the 2014 election or in 2018. Speakers include former state senator and representative Ryan Deckert and former Beaverton city councilor Cathy Stanton. The training will cover campaign finance and law, running a successful campaign, how to work with members of the media, tips for surviving the endorsement process and interviews as well as hot topics in the business community.

The chamber has considered hosting this type of training for the past couple years.

“The idea basically came from the chamber’s involvement in endorsing candidates,” Clarno said. “We’ve had candidates come in who literally come out of no where — no one knows them.

“It takes engagement — getting to know your community and the community getting to know you — to get elected. We’ve found it is harder and harder to find folks interested in running for office.”

The common reasons are people don’t have time, or they don’t know where to begin, Clarno added.

“We can help address that second part,” she said. “We have the connections and resources who we can bring in who have firsthand experience.”

So far, about a dozen people have signed up for the training, including three former Leadership Beaverton alumni, who participated in the chamber’s nine-month community leadership program and self-identified as being community activist-oriented individuals who want to make a difference, Clarno said.

“It’s exciting to see these folks step forward because they already have the foundation to really understand not only the importance of public service but also the pieces of how our community and government entities and special districts work together,” she said. “When elected officials decide not to run again, we want to make sure qualified candidates step forward.”

She pointed to an announcement this past Friday, when state Rep. Chris Harker announced he would not seek re-election in 2014. “Everyone’s first question is who is going to run,” she noted.

Clarno and other organizers hope participants walk away inspired.

“I hope we make the case that running for office is doable and that the Q and A session is able to address any fears people may have in taking those first steps,” Clarno said.

Anyone interested in attending the workshop is asked to RSVP to Lorraine Clarno at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refreshments will be available.