Notes Regarding 2016 Citywide and Council District Elections
Candidates may not solicit or accept contributions until June 7, 2015, one year before the 2016 primary election. This prohibition does not preclude a candidate from using his or her personal funds to pay for campaign related expenses. Refer to this fact sheet for additional information.
Notes Regarding 2014 Council District Elections
The City's next election for Council District 6 will take place on November 4, 2014.
Candidates for Council Districts 2, 4, and 8, and candidates for Council District 6 who are not on the ballot for the November 4, 2014, general election may accept contributions only until November 30, 2014. Contributions may be accepted only to the extent that the candidate has net debts outstanding from the election.
Council district candidates may not accept contributions exceeding $550 per individual contributor per election, and may not accept contributions from political parties exceeding $10,000 per election.
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 on the ballot in the February 11, 2014, special run-off election may accept contributions only until August 10, 2014. Contributions may be accepted only to the extent that the candidate has net debts outstanding from the election. Mayoral candidates who did not make it to the special run-off election may no longer solicit or accept contributions.
Mayoral candidates may not accept contributions exceeding $1,000 per individual contributor per election, and may not accept contributions from political parties exceeding $20,000 per 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.
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.
Visit the Ethics Commission's Candidates and Committees page for additional information regarding campaign finance rules.