Picture: Former NC House Rep. Gray Mills – District #95, discusses the opportunities and challenges of running for elected office to the participants in the 2017 Greater Statesville / Lake Norman Chamber Academy of Political Leadership.
(Cornelius, NC March 22, 2019) The Lake Norman and Statesville Chambers of Commerce will be hosting a candidate training program for individuals interested in future elected office. The Academy of Political Leadership of Lake Norman and Iredell County is an introduction to campaigning for local, county, and state office. The three-day session will be held on three Saturdays in April/May (April 27, May 4 and 18). It will be held at the Chambers of Commerce and WSIC Radio in Statesville. The program is intended to assist civic-minded citizens who are considering running for political office to campaign in an ethical and effective manner.
The Greater Statesville and Lake Norman Chambers are non-partisan business associations who do not endorse or support candidates for office. However, the chambers believe strongly in the principles of good government and hope to increase the number of business-minded elected officials with the skills and political acumen to provide the servant leadership which advances our community and region.
Session I Laying the Groundwork for your Campaign will feature individuals who have served on a local, county or state elected capacity. The session will also discuss developing the message, as well as hear an informative presentation from Dr. Susan Roberts, PHD from the Davidson College Department of Political Science on Campaign Ethics.
Session II: Communication will provide the participant with an opportunity to create and record a thirty second radio advertisement as well as participate on a mock radio interview hosted by WSIC 100.7 FM Radio. This will take place at the radio station at 1117 Radio Road Statesville.
Session III: Nuts and Bolts focuses on the specific details on filing for office including fundraising, polling, voter trends, financing, filing, and turnout.
The Lake Norman Chamber hosted a Lake Norman Academy in 2003, 2005 and more recently with Statesville in 2015 and 2017. Graduates of the 2017 program include current Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox and Commissioner Matt Fort and Huntersville Commissioner Nick Walsh. Past participants include current Cornelius Commissioners Dave Gilroy and Mike Miltich, Huntersville Commissioners Dan Boone and Mark Gibbons, and United States Senator Thom Tillis.
Shannon Viera, President of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce, states the partnership with the Lake Norman Chamber allows the chambers to perform an important community service. “We are excited to collaborate with the Lake Norman Chamber. It is our hope that the candidate training program will provide a foundation for a diverse pool of candidates who would be of service to our growing region. We are fortunate to have outstanding individuals currently serving our local towns, county, and state. However, if an opening for a board seat is available, we need qualified and informed candidates vying for that position.”
Senator Thom Tillis, a graduate of the 2003 Lake Norman Institute of Political Leadership added, “In 2003, I participated in the Lake Norman Academy of Political Leadership as I prepared to run for my first elected office on the Cornelius Town Board. The program provided valuable insight into campaigning for public office and proved very helpful developing my message and strategy. I would highly encourage prospective candidates to apply for this program which examines the skills, leadership, and requirements needed of our elected officials.”
Participants will be selected by an application process with consideration given to be a diverse group. It is limited to six applicants from Mecklenburg County and six applicants from Iredell County. The cost of the three session program is $95 per person and includes meals. Applications must be received by Friday, April 12th and those accepted to the program will be notified by Monday, April 19.
Interested candidates can apply online at lakenormanchamber.org or statesvillechamber.org. The program is presented by EnergyUnited and sponsored by Duke Energy and WSIC 100.7/ 105.9 FM Radio.
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