Getting Started

 

IMPORTANT!

  • Candidates MUST file Form 501 before soliciting or accepting contributions.
  • Candidates MUST deposit funds into the campaign bank account before spending money on the campaign. Candidates who spend money out of pocket for campaign expenses are subject to fines.

 

Forms

Before beginning your campaign, you must declare which office you are seeking.  You must also set up and register your commitee, and disclose information about your personal income and assets. To get your campaign started, complete and submit the forms noted below.  See form instructions for information on how to complete the forms and where to file them.

        Form 501 - Candidate Intention Statement

        Form 410 - Statement of Organization     OR     Form 470 - Officeholder/Candidate Campaign Statement

        Form 700 - Statement of Economic Interests

 

ID Number

Once you have submitted your Form 410 to the Secretary of State (SOS), you can visit their website to find your committee ID number.  Enter the name of your committee in the search bar of the Cal-Access database.  If your ID number has been issued, the search results will show it next to your comittee name.  If the system cannot find your ID number, the SOS may not have had time to issue it yet, or there was an error on the Form 410 and they have sent you a letter via USPS asking you to correct the error and re-submit the form.

If you would like to receive a copy of your approved Form 410 from the Secretary of State, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with your original Form 410.

 

Filing Deadlines

Throughout the campaign, you must file statements to report contributions and expenditures.  Find the filing schedule for your campaign on our website.

The following are from the Political Reform Act.

Government Code Sections

Section 82007      Candidate; Definition
Section 82013      Committee; Definition
Section 82016      Controlled Committee; Definition
Section 82047.5   Primarily Formed Committee; Definition
Section 82048.7   Sponsored Committee; Definition
Section 82050       State Candidate
Section 84101      Statement of Organization; Filing
Section 84102      Statement of Organization; Contents
Section 84103      Statement of Organization; Amendments
Section 84106      Sponsored Committee; Identification
Section 84206      Candidates Who Receive or Spend Less than $2,000
Section 85200      Statement of Intention to be a Candidate
Section 85201      Campaign Bank Account
Section 87201      Candidates (Statement of Economic Interests)
Section 89512      Expenses Associated with Seeking or Holding Office

 

The following are from FPPC Regulations.

FPPC Regulations

Regulation 18402      Committee Name
Regulation 18406      Candidates/Officeholders Receiving/Spending Less than $2,000 in a Calendar Year
Regulation 18410      Statement of Organization 
Regulation 18419      Sponsored Committees
Regulation 18430      Committee Controlled by More than One Candidate
Regulation 18520      Statement of Intention to Be a Candidate
Regulation 18521      Establishment of Separate Controlled Committee for Each Campaign Account
Regulation 18524      Investment and Expenditure of Candidates' Campaign Funds
Regulation 18531.5   Recall Elections

The rules and regulations discussed on our website pertain to those required by the Political Reform Act.  Your city or county may have its own campaign ordinance.  Please ask your local filing official if there are additional requirements that your your campaign must follow.  If the local rules are more restrictive than those of the Political Reform Act, your campaign must adhere to them.

 

This toolkit provides guidance and a general overview of the rules for campaigns, but it does not replace any requirements under the Political Reform Act or Fair Political Practices Commission Regulations.  Information here should be used in conjunction with a careful review of the applicable laws.