Notes Regarding All City Elections
Candidates who raise or spend $1,000 or more in connection with their candidacy must create a campaign committee by filing a Form 410 Statement of Organization with the California Secretary of State (and a copy with the City Clerk).
Candidates may not accept contributions in any amount from non-individuals (other than a political party committee).
Candidates and committees that have raised at least $10,000 in contributions must file their campaign statements (e.g., Forms 460, 465, 496, 497) using the City Clerk's electronic filing system. Candidates and committees below the $10,000 threshold have a choice of filing their campaign statements in paper format or electronically.
All candidate committees must have a treasurer. A candidate may serve as his/her own treasurer, or ask a friend or relative to volunteer as the treasurer. Candidates who plan to spend more than $10,000 are strongly encouraged to retain a professional treasurer to ensure compliance with the City's laws. The majority of candidates who spend more than $10,000 will have their campaigns audited, and may be required to pay fines if the audits reveal material violations of campaign laws. Information regarding professional campaign treasurers doing business in California can be obtained from the California Political Treasurers Association.
Candidates should familiarize themselves with the Ethics Commission's Top Ten Rules for City Candidates.
Notes Regarding 2014 Council District Elections
The City's next election for Council Districts 2, 4, 6, and 8 will take place on June 3, 2014.
Council district candidates may accept contributions up to $550 per individual contributor per election, and may also accept contributions from political parties up to $10,000.
The Ethics Commission has prepared campaign manuals for candidates and committees that will be active in San Diego's 2014 Council District elections. The candidate manual is designed for candidates and their controlled committees, while the committee manual is designed for primarily formed recipient committees, general purpose recipient committees, and independent expenditure committees interested in supporting or opposing City candidates and/or City ballot measures.
Notes Regarding 2013-2014 Mayoral Special Elections
Mayoral candidates may accept contributions up to $1,000 per individual contributor per election, and may also accept contributions from political parties up to $20,000.
Mayoral candidates on the ballot in the February 11, 2014, special run-off election may accept contributions until August 10, 2014. Mayoral candidates only on the ballot in the November 19, 2013, special election may accept contributions until May 18, 2014. Contributions may be accepted only to the extent that the candidate has net debts outstanding from the election.
The Ethics Commission has prepared campaign manuals for candidates and committees that are active in the mayoral special election and/or special run-off election. The candidate manual is designed for candidates and their controlled committees, while the committee manual is designed for primarily formed recipient committees, general purpose recipient committees, and independent expenditure committees interested in supporting or opposing candidates in these elections.
Visit the Ethics Commission's Candidates and Committees page for additional information regarding campaign finance rules.