top of page



Campaign Funds for Security

Vote Mama Foundation is working to break down the structural and cultural barriers that prevent parents and caregivers from running for office.

Our playbook for getting Campaign Funds for Childcare allowed for state and local candidates across the country has a proven track record of bipartisan support and authorization from West Virginia to California. Our data and research show that CFCC is one of the most effective solutions to increasing the representation of families from all walks of life. Even better, our recipe for success can be replicated for other types of campaign finance reform, such as campaign funds for security.


Entering the political arena should never come at the expense of a candidate’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Unfortunately, women, especially women of color, face persistent harassment, threats, and abuse on the campaign trail that takes a toll on their mental health and can even drive them out of politics altogether. These are voices that we desperately need at the decision-making table and the persistent acts of violence and terror against them are pushing women out of office and out of power.


In January of 2024, the Brennan Center for Justice released “Intimidation of State and Local Officeholders,” a groundbreaking research report on the patterns and dynamics of abuse and violence experienced by state and local candidates across the country. Their report included the following statistics: 


  • Women were three to four times as likely as men to experience abuse targeting their gender.

  • Officeholders of color were more than three times as likely as white officeholders to experience abuse targeting their race.

  • Larger shares of women and people of color serving in local elected offices experienced abuse related to their families—including their children—than did other officeholders.

  • Women serving in state legislatures were nearly four times as likely as men to experience abuse of a sexual nature.


We need more representation of families at all levels of office. We can only do that by ensuring candidates have the resources to navigate our political landscape and protect themselves. By replicating our Campaign Funds for Childcare model, we will continue to break down the barriers that keep women and families out of office and out of power. 

This common-sense solution is at no cost to taxpayers and is already allowed at the Federal level. In 2023 alone, 982 transactions were made for personal security by federal candidates, including transactions made by Sen. Raphael Warnock, Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Eric Swalwell, President Donald Trump, and Rep. Cori Bush. 


Under federal guidelines, candidates for Federal office are allowed to use private campaign funds to pay for home security enhancements, “because the threats and need for security upgrades would not exist irrespective of the officeholders’ candidacy or duties as an officeholder.” The Federal Election Commission furthered its guidance for federal candidates in 2021. As cited in AO 2021-03, federal officeholders can use campaign funds to pay for personal security expenses for the officeholder and their immediate family. 


Subsequently, states such as California, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota have all adopted similar guidelines to the Federal Election Commission rulings that allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds on security expenses in direct response to threats of violence against a candidate or officeholder. 


Using campaign funds to pay for security expenses directly related to campaign activity or carrying out official duties is a concrete step we can take to empower more women and moms to run for office and sustainably stay in office once elected.

bottom of page