Jennie shows what it means to WIN!
Jennie Johnson left Bossed Up Bootcamp with an ambitious goal: become a campaign manager.
One year out, and not only has she achieved it – she WON! In a very tough year for Democrats, Jennie managed one of the only winning Congressional campaigns in the nation.
Last night, I shared the stage with Jennie at the Women’s Information Network Young Women of Achievement Awards as we both received an award for our work this past year.
But the road that led Jennie to last night’s award was not an easy one. Stepping up and managing a race is no small feat.
Jennie had been working in politics for nearly a decade and specialized in fundraising and field organizing. She left Bootcamp ready and willing to articulate her big ambition: to manage a race this election cycle!
But, where to begin?
Jennie didn’t know any campaign managers who looked like her. None, in fact, who were women. It was hard for her to connect with some of the male managers she knew, but she started reaching out anyway.
One colleague said “you don’t want to manage this cycle, you are a strong fundraiser, that is what the Party really needs right now.” Another colleague asked “are you sure you are ready for this? You are so young.”
Perturbed, Jennie chose to keep her eyes on the prize and says that, “just because you are good at something doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try something new you are interested in.”
Jennie went on to complete a Democratic campaign manager training with the DCCC and gained traction through networking and unabashedly proclaiming her intentions. Ultimately, she was recommended to Iowa’s Dave Loebsack who interviewed and hired her to manage his race.
Jennie went on to help raise $1.7 million and beat a three-time opponent. As Election Day neared, their district became a late-stage national priority, with funding flooding in from her opponent’s national Party. Nevertheless, her team, quality candidate, and solid strategy came through and Jennie’s win was one of only a handful of bright spots for Democrats in 2014.
“Being a campaign manager isn’t always easy, in fact it’s not easy, but it is rewarding,” says Jennie, “You will learn more than you possibly thought you could.”
Jennie hopes to serve as an example of what women at the helm of political campaigns can achieve and help mentor other women political operatives who are ready to take the reins.
“You will not regret making the jump from finance director, field director or communications director to campaign manager,” says Jennie. “You are ready now. What are you waiting for?”
Congratulations to Jennie on her incredible win – on Election Day and last night as one of this year’s Young Women of Achievement. Get in touch with Jennie here.
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