Candidates & Campaigns
Ten Things You Need to Know to Declare Your Candidacy for Local Elective Office
- Make sure you are qualified for the office that you seek. Contact the relevant governing agency
for the candidate and officeholder requirements. Are there residency requirements? Are you
currently registered to vote in the jurisdiction? Ask the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division to confirm this and, if
not, get registered!
- Get informed. The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division provides resources for potential candidates
including a Candidate Guide available online
at www.shapethefuture.org, and seminars for
It is also important to know your Election Official. For Schools and Special District candidates the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division is the Election Official; for City candidates the City Clerk is the Election Official.
- Contact the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division and notify the Filing Officer that you are a potential candidate
(City candidates contact City Clerk). Make an appointment to declare your Candidacy. Forms
cannot be mailed to you. The Candidate Filing Period for regularly scheduled elections opens
113 days before election day and closes 88 days before election day.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to file your documents! If there is a problem, you may not be
able to fix it in time.
Call (650) 312-5222 to schedule an appointment during the filing period. The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division does not schedule appointments for the last day of the filing period.
- Some offices require nomination petitions to be filed in order to qualify for the ballot. Please
consult the proper Elections Official to inquire about this requirement. Candidates should pick
up their nomination papers early in the Candidate Filing Period to allow enough time for
signature gathering and certification.
- Be prepared to fill out a Statement of Economic Interest, Form 700, and disclose personal
financial holdings. Download the Form 700 on the Fair Political Practices Commission’s web
site at www.fppc.ca.gov.
- Don’t forget your check book when filing your candidate statement. Payment MUST be
submitted with your statement, or the statement will not be accepted!
- After you file to run for office, check the Roster of Candidates on the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division’s web site, to see if you are qualified. If the Roster indicates that you are not qualified, call the Filing Officer to see what you still have to do to get qualified.
- Research state regulations regarding the political activity of candidates by contacting the
Secretary of State, www.ss.ca.gov or (916) 653-6224,
and the Fair Political Practices
Commission, www.fppc.ca.gov or (866) 275-3772.
- Visit the League of Women Voters web site, www.smartvoter.org, to learn about the services offered to candidates through this site for candidate statements, district information and other campaign information.