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The information below summarizes the major provisions related to running for office in Contra Costa County. More comprehensive information is available in our Candidate Guide, which provides details on filing requirements, qualifications, deadlines, fees, political advertising, reports and more. Please note that the guide is for general information only and does not have the force and effect of law, regulation or rule.

Contra Costa Elections Division administers candidate filing for county, school, and special district offices. The Elections Division also administers candidate filing for state offices when Contra Costa is the candidate’s county of residence.

Candidates for federal office should visit the Federal Elections Commission’s website. Candidates for state office should visit the Secretary of State’s website. City candidates should visit their local City Clerk’s office.


The Candidate filing period for offices in Schools, Community Colleges, and Special Districts is from July 13th to August 7th, 2020 in order to appear on the November 2020 ballot. In the past, filing for office has been conducted in the Elections Division office. This election however, as a result of COVID and social distancing requirements, Candidate filing for the November 3 election is being conducted at the County Administration Building at 651 Pine Street, Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm until July 31 and at Cornerstone Baptist Church at 414 Escobar Street, Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm from August 3 until August 7. Candidate filing for offices that have gone into extension will continue at Cornerstone Baptist Church at 414 Escobar Street, Monday-Wednesday from 8:30am to 4:30pm from August 10 until August 12. Appointments for filing the Declaration of Candidacy will be made at the time papers are issued.

To ensure the safety of all, candidates will wear face coverings and abide by social distancing protocols. Entourages will not be permitted into the Board Chambers or Church, but may congregate outside or in the lobby of the Admin Building as long as public health rules are respected.

Candidates for city offices will file in their respective city.


Qualifications to run for office vary depending on the office and the jurisdiction. See the full list of candidate qualifications for various state, county, and special district offices.

Candidate Application Packet

Candidates must complete a Candidate Application Packet during the candidate filing period. The filing period is only 25 days, starting 113 days before the election and ending 88 days before the election. Paperwork must be picked up from our office. We encourage candidates to start the process early in the filing period to meet the filing deadline. The Candidate Application Packet includes:

  • Nomination Petitions (if applicable)
  • Filing Fee Information
  • Declaration of Candidacy
  • Ballot Designation Worksheet
  • Candidate Statement of Qualifications
  • Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700)
  • Campaign Finance Disclosure
  • Code of Fair Campaign Practices
  • Declaration of Intention (Judicial Candidates ONLY)


Campaign Finance

All federal, state, and local candidates and their committees are required to report campaign contributions and expenditures. All Contra Costa county, school, and special district candidates are required to submit their campaign filing reports electronically.

For detailed information regarding campaign finances and deadlines visit the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) website.

Campaign Resources

As a candidate you may purchase voter data products and maps from the Elections Division. For additional information, please refer to the Candidate Guide.