Visalia Chamber provides non-partisan workshop to help, encourage more people to run for local office


VISALIA – In an effort to encourage leaders to run for local office, The Visalia Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidates College on Nov. 8 and 15 from 6-8 p.m. Candidates College provides a nonpartisan fact based learning opportunity to those who may be interested in serving in an elected or appointed position.

Strong leadership is vital to the success of any community. Visalia has been lucky to have many strong leaders who have dedicated their time, talent and resources as elected leaders to pave a path for our city. However, for many, the thought of running for elected office is daunting. Many community members have expressed an interest in becoming more engaged in the political process, potentially running for elected office, but are overwhelmed or under educated about the process and the realities of elected office.

Two sessions will provide participants with real world skills and techniques when considering running for public office. During the first session on Nov. 8 the Candidates College will be hosted at the Visalia Unified School District Board Room located at 5000 W. Cypress Ave. This session will focus on understanding the current political landscape and will cover the following topics:

  • Current issues facing business
  • Appointed and elected ways to serve
  • City, County, Hospital, School, Sheriff, DA, State, Federal
  • Terms, requirements, and fees

Additionally, there will be panel of individuals who have run past campaigns who will discuss financing, fundraising, and building a campaign team.

On Nov. 15 the Candidates College will be hosted at the Visalia City Council Chambers located at City Hall West, 707 W. Acequia Ave. This session will feature a panel of past and current elected officials who will discuss topics including:

  • Coalition building
  • Crafting and delivering an effective message
  • Talking with the media
  • Realities of being an office holder

Panelists will include: Connie Conway, Amy Shuklian, John Crabtree, Warren Gubler, and Basil Perch.

The Candidates College is open to anyone interested in learning more about the local political landscape and the process of becoming an appointed or elected official. The two-part series will cost $40 for both sessions, and space is limited.

To register for Candidates College go to

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