Application Process

Applications for the 2019 Emerge Virginia seven-month training are now closed.  Applications for 2019 candidates interested in attending a two and a half day bootcamp are open with no deadline.

Please read through all of the information below in its entirety. It is important to have a complete understanding of the application process and training program before you apply.

Please read through all of the information below in its entirety. It is important to have a complete understanding of the application process and training program before you apply.

We encourage you to begin your application well in advance of the closing date due to the detailed nature of the application.

Who Should Apply?

Emerge Virginia seeks self-indentifiying Democratic women who are committed to effective political leadership and are interested in running for elective office and who have:

  • evidence of political leadership experience or potential, and meaningful involvement in workplace or community;
  • interest in running for political office;
  • desire to build effective networks;
  • a personal political vision;
  • commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings.       

Applicants must be self-identifying women who are Democrats and who reside in the state of Virginia.

Emerge Virginia will select 20-25 women from across the state who meet the above criteria and who we believe have the potential to be political leaders.

Emerge embraces diversity and encourages applications from all women regardless of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or physical abilities. Our mission to build the bench of Democratic women ready to run for office acknowledges both systemic and historic barriers to running for office as well as the barriers women impose on themselves.

To be considered for the 2019 Emerge Virginia training program, applicants must complete a written application by October 31, 2018. Written applications will be evaluated by a selection committee and qualified applicants will be invited to an in-person interview in November or early December. Invitations to join the 2019 class will be extended in mid-December.

Time Commitment

The success of the Emerge Virginia program depends upon commitment to the program’s entire schedule by each participant. Over the seven-month period, approximately 70 program hours are scheduled. Some time outside of regularly scheduled trainings will be necessary for homework and training preparation. While emergencies sometimes arise, attendance at the first day of training is mandatory and absence for any reason will result in a deferral to the following year. Please review the schedule below to ensure your availability to attend every training day.

2019 Training Dates For Signature Seven-Month Program

Locations subject to change

Saturday, January 12th—Richmond

Thursday, January 31st—Day at Capital

Saturday, February 23rd—Northern Virginia

Saturday, March 16th—Charlottesville

Saturday, April 13th —Northern Virginia

Saturday, May 18th—Tidewater

Saturday, June 22nd—Richmond

Saturday, July 20th—Northern Virginia


Emerge Virginia will review completed written applications and select finalists for in-person interviews. Finalists will be invited to attend an interview with the selection committee in November and early December in locations around Virginia.

Boot Camp For 2019 Candidates

Boot camps are two and a half day programs for announced or intended candidates running for any Virginia office in 2019. The application process is the same if you would like to attend a 2019 bootcamp (see “How To Apply” below). Tentative dates and locations are below and subject to change. In-person interviews may be waived for boot camp. Boot camp tuition is $250 and no financial aid is awarded in order to avoid an in-kind contribution to a campaign. Campaign funds can be used to pay tuition and candidates are encouraged to fundraise tuition as well.


Friday, January 25th at 5 PM through Sunday, January 27th at 6 PM in Northern Virginia (THIS IS A CHANGE)

Friday, February 15th at 5 PM through Sunday, February 17th at 6 PM in Hampton Roads area

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required and must be submitted along with a completed application. The application fee can be paid here or mail a check payable to Emerge VA, PO Box 3545, Richmond, VA  23235.


Tuition for the seven-month program is $750. Payment plans are available and Emerge Virginia will assist program members with fundraising their tuition if needed. Financial need should not be a barrier to applying to the program.

The seven-month program does take place in various parts of the state one Saturday each month, but travel and overnight accommodations may be necessary depending on your proximity to trainings. Emerge Virginia will endeavor to assist with supporter housing when needed, but travel costs are not covered by the program.

If financial concerns are holding you back from completing your application, please reach out to Executive Director Julie S. Copeland at Financial need should not be a barrier to applying to the program.

How To Apply


Applications for the 2019 Emerge Virginia training are open through October 31, 2018.

Click above to apply or visit the application page here:

This will take you to a registration page. Please register by clicking Sign Up. After signing up, you should receive an e-mail with further instructions on how to complete your application. If you have already started your application, you can continue your application by returning to the application page here: If you have any technical issues, please email