The Road to Endorsement

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) has endorsed a candidate in each presidential election since 1984. For the 2008 election, ANA will continue to follow the 1985 House of Delegates (HOD) resolution directing the Association to engage presidential contenders of all parties in endorsement considerations.

Presidential endorsements provide the best opportunity to educate our members about the political process and to encourage political participation among all nurses - while also demonstrating ANA’s political power and ability to accomplish its legislative and regulatory goals.

Step 1
The American Nurses Association Political Action Committee (ANA-PAC) and its Board of Trustees are tasked with overseeing the presidential endorsement effort.

For the 2008 election, four members of the ANA-PAC Board were chosen to help lead the endorsement process by serving as the PAC’s Presidential Endorsement Task Force:

Sara Jarrett, RN, MS, MA, EdD of Colorado (Chair)
Barbara Crane, RN, CRRN of New York
Elizabeth Dietz, EdD, RN, CS-NP, of California
Erin Murphy, BSN, RN of Minnesota (who in 2006 was elected as State Representative to the Minnesota House of Representatives, and recently completed her first term!!).

Step 2
As 1985 Resolution mandates, the ANA-PAC Board and its Presidential Endorsement Task Force members will work with ANA Government Affairs staff to undertake the necessary steps that will result in an endorsement decision.

In past elections, these actions have included:

  • Examining the voting records, to the extent possible, of all announced candidates in relation to ANA’s legislative agenda
  • Drafting a questionnaire to gauge the level of each candidate’s support for ANA’s core policy issues
  • Polling individual Constituent Member Associations (CMA) and ANA membership for their preferred candidates
  • Conducting interviews with viable presidential candidates.

Step 3
Upon reaching the conclusion of this process, the PAC Board will present its endorsement recommendation to ANA’s Board of Directors. It’s important to note that the PAC Board’s endorsement decision typically represents a choice among three positions:

  1. No endorsement or support of a candidate,
  2. Support one or more candidates during the primary elections
  3. Support of a candidate following the party nominating conventions.

Step 4
The ANA Board of Directors will vote to ratify the PAC Board’s endorsement recommendation. Once the endorsement decision is made, the choice will be communicated to the ANA membership base, CMAs, the candidates’ campaign, and appropriate media parties.

Endorsement Process Rationale
The American Nurses Association’s (ANA) presidential endorsement process will be a collaborative and democratic effort, where members and Constituent Member Associations will be able to voice their personal preferences for the next President of the United States. Ultimately, ANA will use its professional judgment in choosing a candidate who will do the most to advance the interests of nurses while serving in the White House.

ANA realizes that endorsing a particular presidential candidate will undoubtedly elicit strong emotions within the ANA membership. ANA is fortunate to have an informed and diverse membership base, with well-rounded views on a number of issues. Accordingly, ANA recognizes that as voters, individual members will consider other factors - such as the economy, national security, and education - in personally deciding which candidate to support.

However, as a professional organization ANA will consider candidates based solely on who will best serve the interests of the nursing profession and their patients. Political parties or personal agendas will not matter in this process. No political support will be offered by ANA without thoughtful analysis of a candidate’s past record and views on nursing.