How we screen candidates for federal office

The screening process for federal candidates differs somewhat from the process for screening state candidates.

National requirements

The American Federation of Teachers accepts the endorsement of all federal candidates, with the exception of president, that the state affiliate recommends. Each recommendation of new candidates by the state affiliate must include a completed AFT questionnaire. Recommended incumbents are not required to complete a questionnaire because they are judged by their congressional voting record.

The National Education Association's recommendation process has two classifications: "friendly incumbents" and all other candidates.

  • Incumbents are considered friendly if they score an "A" on the NEA scorecard completed by each state and also have a positive voting record determined by the NEA PAC council.
    • Friendly incumbents must complete an NEA questionnaire every four years, but will not be subject to the screening interview.
    • Friendly incumbents will be asked to meet with the Education Minnesota Congressional Action Team to discuss issues.
  • All other candidates under the NEA process must complete the NEA questionnaire and participate in the screening interview.
    • For a "non-friendly incumbent" candidate to be recommended, Education Minnesota must send a completed questionnaire and a candidate recommendation form signed by the state affiliate president to the NEA one week before the scheduled PAC council meeting.

Education Minnesota requirements

The Education Minnesota PAC conducts the screening interview and recommends candidates for U.S. Senate.

For each U.S. House district where a screening interview is necessary, Education Minnesota recruits volunteers by sending a letter or email to all locals within the congressional district. The goal is to build a screening team of eight to 12 members.

  • As soon as a location, date and time are established for the screening interview, Education Minnesota contacts all known candidates regardless of party affiliation. Education Minnesota will make a reasonable effort via phone, letter and email to contact the candidates and invite them to the screening interview.
  • Education Minnesota will distribute AFT and NEA questionnaires to all candidates in electronic and paper form. Each candidate in the congressional district being screened will be given a firm date to reply and indicate whether they will participate in Education Minnesota’s screening process.