County of San Benito Clerk, Auditor & Recorder

How do I become a candidate – Primary 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.

Not complete – Development in progress

The Signatures-in-Lieu period is September 12 through November 6, 2019.

The filing period for nominations is November 12 through December 6, 2019.  The filing period will be extended until December 11, ONLY if the incumbent does not file by the deadline of December 6.  The extension is for anyone other than the incumbent.

Statewide Offices:

  • There are no Statewide offices for the upcoming Primary election.

US Congress, Member of the State Assembly, and County Supervisor:

  1. Decide what office you wish to run for.  Please refer to our Available Contests for the next Primary 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. Prepare to pay a filing fee. Due in full at the time a candidate files his or her Declaration of Candidacy
    • Filing fees vary depending upon the office. For the filing fee of your selected office, please view our Candidate Handbook.
    • There are 3 methods of paying for the filing fee:
      1. Pay in full at the time of filing the Declaration of Candidacy.
      2. Pay by using a Signatures-in-Lieu of filing fee petition. Signatures can be gathered that will count towards a filing fee. The petition must be obtained, and filed prior to the official nomination period. (September 12, 2019 – November 6, 2019) The number of signatures required and value of each signature depends upon the office in question. For more information regarding this, please view our Candidate Handbook.
      3. Mix of Signatures-in-lieu and cash (or check).
  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 can be made for Signatures-in-Lieu or Declaration of Candidacy. 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: $900 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 County Supervisor.
    • 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 Declaration of Candidacy visit.
  7. Come to our office and declare your candidacy!
    • Discuss and file Financial Disclosure paperwork
    • Sign or decline to sign, the Code of Fair Campaign Practices
    • Learn about rules regarding campaign signs
    • Pay your filing fee
    • File and pay for your Candidate Statement (optional)
    • Complete the Ballot Designation Worksheet
    • Take oath and sign the Declaration of Candidacy
    • Obtain a nomination petition (signatures required to run for these offices. Signatures-in-Lieu petitions may be used for nomination signatures)
    • File your nomination petition(s).
    • Wait for March, 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.