Twenty Sorensen grads elected
Twenty graduates of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership were elected to office in Virginia in the Nov. 8 elections. Of the 20, 11 won seats in the Virginia House of Delegates (nine of whom were re-elected); five won seats on boards of supervisors; one was elected commonwealth’s attorney; one was elected sheriff; one was elected treasurer; and one was re-elected to a county school board. Nine were candidates of the Democratic Party, seven were candidates of the Republican Party, and four were independents.
Altogether, 32 graduates of the institute’s Sorensen Political Leaders Program or the Candidate Training Program ran for office.
“We are very proud of all our graduates who [sought] … office this year,” said Sean T. O’Brien, executive director of the institute. “We celebrate with those who were victorious in their campaigns. And we know that those who did not win office … will continue to find ways to serve their communities and Virginia.”
The Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the quality of governance and the strength of civic engagement in Virginia. Sorensen provides training in public policy, campaign skills and ethics for Virginians interested in public service at all levels, so that they will have the knowledge necessary to be informed and responsible participants in the political process. The institute does not participate in campaigns on behalf of issues, causes or candidates.
The institute’s programs are held at universities around the state. Community leaders throughout the state compete to be in the institute’s program. Participants are chosen, without regard for their ability to pay the tuition, in a series of interviews conducted by the institute.
The Sorensen Institute was founded in 1993 when a group of Virginians, concerned that a growing cynicism about politics was keeping capable leaders from entering public life, resolved to reverse the trend. Though based at U.Va., the institute’s programs are financed by private donations.