County of San Benito, County Clerk & Recorder

How do I become a candidate? – November Elections

The purpose of this page is assist potential candidates with the necessary steps to become an official candidate.  This page is only meant for offices which are managed by the San Benito County Department of Elections.

Statewide Offices:

  • There are either no Statewide offices, or the candidates for these offices were selected in the Top-Two primary in June.  These candidates have no need to come to our office.

US Congress, State Senate, and Member of the State Assembly:

  • Candidate must have been one of the Top-Two in the March primary election.
  • Submit your Candidate Statement (optional) to appear in our County Voter Information Guide, during the Candidate Filing Period (July 18 – August 12).
  • See #5 below for information regarding Candidate Statements
  • There are no extensions for these offices.

Runoff Offices:

The office of Supervisor District 1  is going to a runoff election in November.  The top two candidates in June have moved on.  These candidates:

  • Must submit a new candidate statement if the candidate wishes for it to be published in the County Voter Information Guide.  See #5 below.
  • Continue filing Campaign Finance paperwork.  See the filing schedule.
  • Cannot change their ballot designation unless requested in writing prior to August 2.  See Rules for Ballot Designations.

City Offices:

  • The list of city offices that will be contested in the next November Election can be found on our Available Contests page.
  • Filings for city offices are performed at the appropriate City Clerk’s office between the dates of July 18 and August 12.
  • The filing period will be extended until August 17, ONLY if the incumbent does not file by the deadline of August 12.  The extension is for anyone other than the incumbent.
  • City Candidates will be required to submit Nomination signatures, and other forms as required by the City Clerk.
  • Candidates may submit a Candidate Statement (optional) to appear in our County Voter Information Guide.  Statements are filed with the respective City Clerk at the time of declaring candidacy and checks made payable to “SBC Elections”.  See #5 below for more information.

School, Water and Special District offices:

NOTE: There are no filing fees for any School, Water, or Special District offices.

  1. Decide what office you wish to run for.  Please refer to our Available Contests for the next November Election page.
  2. Ensure that you reside within the boundaries of the office to which you wish to run for, and that you are registered to vote in that district.  On our Available Contests page, you will find links to maps showing the district boundaries.  Click on the office to see the map.
  3. (Optional) “Pre-Register” your nomination paperwork.  With the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, the County Elections Department is offering this service to allow potential candidates the opportunity to provide us with needed information, that we can then use to prepare your nomination paperwork.  We will mail this paperwork to you so that you can complete it in the safety of your own home.  An appointment to bring the original signed documents to us is still required.  Click here to Pre-Register.
  4. Make an appointment with us for either a consultation, or the actual filing of your candidacy paperwork, by using our Online Appointment Scheduler.
    • Appointments are optional
    • Candidate Filings are first come first served, but those with an appointment will be given preference.
  5. Prepare a ballot designation (optional).
    • The ballot designation is the word or group of words that will appear on the ballot under the candidate’s name, designating the principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate. The purpose is to ensure the accurate designation of the candidate upon the ballot in order that an informed electorate may intelligently elect one of the candidates.
    • There are rules regarding what can be used as a ballot designation.  See the rules here.
  6. Prepare a Candidate Statement (optional)
    • A statement by the candidate describing his or her education and qualifications to be printed in the County Voter Information Guide. The statement must be filed, and paid for at the time of filing the Declaration of Candidacy.  For more information, click here.
    • Candidate Statement Fees (if purchased) include translation and printing in both English and Spanish and vary depending on the district size:
      • $2,262 for US Congress,  and Member of Assembly.
      • Please see the Candidate Handbook or call our office at (831) 636-4016 for a complete list of costs for Supervisor, School Districts, Water Districts, and Special Districts.
    • Filed statements may be withdrawn on the first business day following the filing deadline, for a full refund.
    • An electronic copy of your Candidate Statement must be e-mailed to our office prior to your visit.  Please send to:
    • A paper copy of the Candidate Statement must be brought with you to your Delclaration of Candidacy visit.
  7. Come to our office and declare your candidacy!

The filing period is July 18 through August 12.  The filing period will be extended until August 17, ONLY if the incumbent does not file by the deadline of August 12.  The extension is for anyone other than the incumbent.

    • Discuss and file Financial Disclosure paperwork
    • Sign or decline to sign, the Code of Fair Campaign Practices
    • Learn about rules regarding campaign signs
    • File and pay for your Candidate Statement (optional)
    • Complete the Ballot Designation Worksheet
    • Take oath and sign the Declaration of Candidacy
    • Wait for November 8, and Good Luck!


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DISCLAIMER: The Information contained herein was believed to be valid at the time of publication. The San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters reserves the right to make changes in the website at any time and without notice. San Benito County Registrar of Voters assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. This website is for informational purposes only and separate from the County of San Benito website. This website includes links to other websites not controlled by the San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters. The San Benito County Clerk - Auditor - Recorder - Registrar of Voters takes no responsibility for the views, content or accuracy of the other sites, nor does it endorse any content or products contained therein.