Westerville Chamber to kick off three-day Election Academy Bootcamp on June 3

Marla K. Kuhlman
ThisWeek group
Kenneth L. Wright displays his certificate after completing the 2019 Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce's Election Academy Bootcamp. Of the 78 graduates in the first eight biannual bootcamps, 27 have run for elected office and 19, including Wright, have been elected. Wright is a member of City Council. Guests attending the bootcamp include (from left) Ohio state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware; Ohio state Rep. Rick Carfagna, R-Genoa Township; Ohio state Rep. Mary Lightbody, D-Westerville; Ohio state Sen. Tina Maharath, D-Columbus; and Janet Tressler Davis, president/CEO, Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Those interested in seeking public office or being part of a political campaign can sign up for the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Election Academy Bootcamp.

The bootcamp will consist of three sessions from 6:45 to 9 p.m. June 3, 11 and 17 with the first two meetings at 670 Meridian Way, Westerville, and the third at the Chamber of Commerce, 99 Commerce Park Drive, Suite A, Westerville. 

The final session will conclude with a reception beginning at 7 p.m. with invitations extended to Westerville City Council members, the school board, state elected officials and county trustees. 

Matt Lofy, the chamber’s director of marketing & community outreach, said the bootcamp is offered biannually and was developed by the chamber to educate individuals in the Westerville area who are interested in running for an elected office. 

Whether seeking public office or serving as a campaign treasurer, manager or volunteer, attendees may find the sessions invaluable in providing information about running a successful campaign, serving in public office and building coalitions, he said. 

City Council member Kenneth L. Wright said he participated in 2019. 

“I had my campaign treasurer join me,” he said. “As a first-time candidate, the bootcamp was extremely helpful for me, especially the sessions on campaign financing, campaign strategies – including do's and don't's – and the panel discussion with local elected officials.” 

Wright said he has recommended it to those seeking office. 

Lofy said this is the ninth year the chamber has held the bootcamp, which started in 2003. 

Lofy said of the 78 graduates, 27 have run for an elected position and 19 have been elected. In addition, 27 have served on campaign committees and eight moved on to serve on city boards and commissions. 

The cost for all three nights is $50 for chamber members, $60 for non-members and $25 for an additional person from the same campaign team. 

Selected speakers include Susie O’Brien from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office; Susan Willeke with the Ohio Ethics Commission; attorney Joe Barone, who has served as treasurer of numerous local campaigns; and former Westerville City Council member and state Rep. Mary Lightbody. 

“These speakers will share a wealth of knowledge gained from their years of experience in a wide array of public service,” said Janet Tressler-Davis, president and CEO of the Westerville Chamber. 

For more information, contact the chamber at 614-882-8917 or visit westervillechamber.com

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekMarla