Our Theory of Change

Contest Every Race is working to end GOP dominance in rural America by making sure that no Republican runs for office without a fight.


In states like Oklahoma, Democrats don’t run in up to 75% of local elections. The result is lower turnout, which means that congressional and statewide candidates get crushed – even when there are plenty of registered Democrats.


We need to stop letting the GOP run uncontested in rural areas. How? By recruiting hundreds of new candidates in overlooked states.

A map of the US showing veto-proof states after the 2018 midterms. 7 states have Democratic majorities and 16 states have Republican majorities.
US states with a veto-proof majority after the 2018 midterms

Our Vision

Cracks are showing in the GOP dominance in rural America. If we can build enough momentum at the grassroots level in traditionally red states, we can take back the Senate, state legislatures, and local governments.

Communities left out of economic progress will finally have a chance to experience economic security — a living wage, expanded Medicaid, and investment in our future.

How We Do It

The first step to challenging the GOP at every level is to find the races where they’re running unopposed. We contact state and county party chairs, Indivisible chapters, and Democratic municipal officials to get local knowledge on which races are uncontested.


Next is finding Democrats to run! We build a list of activists in rural areas by partnering with organizations like ResistBot, MarchOn, Catalist, and Targetsmart. We text people in our target locations and ask them if they’d be interested in running for local office. The key is conversation — talking to people who might not consider running otherwise and encouraging them to think about the ways they could help their community if they did.


Finally, we support prospective candidates at every step, helping them file and run. We provide them with information about how to file, invite them to meet local party leaders, and connect them with candidate coaches and training resources.

Partner with Us

Are you looking to recruit candidates? Have a community of members who might want to run? Let us know!