Questions about Campaigns

Running for Office
What are the qualifications to run for a specific office?
The general qualifications for all candidates are: Must be 18 years old by Election Day; must be a citizen of California; must be registered voter at the time the nomination documents are issued; and must not have been convicted of designated crimes specified in the Constitution and laws of the State.

I want to run for a city office where do I go?
Please check with the City Clerk of that city or town filing and contribution rules.

How can I obtain information on candidates who have been issued papers to run for specific contests?
You can find this information by checking the Daily Contest/Candidate Proof List or you can call Candidate Services at (925) 335-7874.

Do I need to reside in the District to run for office?
The residency requirement depends on the contest. For U.S. Representative, you do not need to reside in the district. For State Assembly, State Senate, and County Central Committee you need to reside in the district at the time of Nomination Documents are issued. For County offices, you must reside in Contra Costa County.

How can I get voter data?
Voter information may be provided to you if you’re a candidate for office, a part of a ballot measure committee, or for election, scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State. If you meet the criteria listed above you could either email your contact information, the type of information you want, and the area or district that you are requesting; or you could email to obtain walking lists, maps of districts, cities, or precincts in Contra Costa County. We will email you back the forms and the cost of the data.

Candidate's Forms
What is a Candidate’s Statement?
A Candidate’s Statement is a statement of the candidate’s own personal background and qualifications.

What is a Ballot Designation?
A ballot designation is a description of your principal profession or occupation in no more than three words . A ballot designation may the current elected position title or “Incumbent”. If appointed, the words “Appointed Incumbent” can be used. You may access the Candidate Guide to review the Ballot Designation Guidelines.

What are Campaign Disclosure Forms?
Campaign Disclosure Forms are forms and reports that Candidates and Campaign committees use to report the contributions and expenditures of their campaign. The Secretary of State website gives a comprehensive list of Where to File Campaign Financial Disclosure Statements

Cost of Running for Office
Is there a Fee to File for Office?
For some offices, there is a Filing Fee that must be paid in order to obtain Nomination Papers. There is no Filing Fee for County Central Committee, School Districts, and Special Districts.

If I decide not to run or I find out I am not qualified after I file my paperwork, may I receive a refund of my Filing Fee?
No, the Filing Fee is non-refundable.

What is the cost of a Candidate’s Statement?
You will need to refer to the Candidate Guide or call Candidates Services at (925) 335-7874 for the estimated cost of your statement. The cost of the Candidate’s Statements will vary depending on the contest.

How do I pay for my Candidate Statement?
We only accept Cash, Money Order, or Checks.

Is there a word limit in submitting a measure?
The final wording of the measure, framed as a question, limited to 75 words, block paragraph format for the official ballot.

Is there a guide on submitting a measure?
Yes, go to Local Measures Information Guide

Who can file Primary Arguments?
The Governing Body of the local jurisdiction or any member of that Governing Body, or any individual voter who is eligible to vote on the measure. Also, a bona fide association of citizens may file a written argument for or against a measure. The word limit cannot exceed 300 words.

What about Rebuttal Arguments, can they be filed?
When an arguments for and against have been selected, copies will be sent to the authors of those arguments in order for them to prepare and submit rebuttal arguments. The authors of the primary arguments may also choose to authorize in writing any other person(s) to prepare, submit, or sign the rebuttal arguments. The word limit can be no more than 250 words.