Want to Run for County Committee?
Do you want to have a say on major decisions in the Democratic or Republican Party, like who becomes the party chair, or who gets endorsed by the party for mayor or Governor, or what should be the party’s platform priorities? A great way to do that is to become a county committee member. And now is the time to do it. The deadline for filing to be on the ballot is early April. This means you need to call your local clerk in February or March and request a nominating petition.
There are more than 24,000 elected positions for County Committee in the Democratic and Republican party, 50% for women and 50% for men. All these positions are broken down by election districts comprised of approximately 700-1000 local voters.
Running and serving on the County Committee is a simple process that requires very little time. Here is a step-by-step process which will walk you through from turning in your nominating petition to the Primary Election. For an easy to follow online class on how to seek a political party position, visit The Citizens Campaign website for our “Path to Political Party Service.”
Want to run for your local county committee? Here’s how you can win!
Step 1: Visit the City Clerk’s office and ask for the following:
Confirm with the clerk that the party of your choice is up for election. If so, request a party declaration form if you’re not already affiliated, in case you are not an official party member. Complete this form and turn it in to the City Clerk’s Office. Find out what municipal voting district (aka: election district) you live in. Request a nominating petition to run for county committee and ask how many signatures are required. (By state law this should not be any more than 10 signatures – including your own!) Request a current list of your town’s incumbent committee people.
Step 2: Visit your County Superintendent of Elections for the following:
Request a list of registered party members in your municipal election district sorted by who voted in the last Primary election. (Requesting this in electronic format could save you a great deal of time.) Request an election district map.
Step 3: Gather the number of signatures required & turn it in.
Gather the required number of signatures on your nominating petition (usually around or less than 10) from registered members of your party in your district.Submit the notarized nominating petition to the clerk well before the deadline.The clerk may find some signatures invalid, in which case you have an opportunity to submit an amended petition. Follow up to make sure your name will appear on the Primary ballot.
Step 4: Contact the Municipal Chairperson and request a copy of the local party bylaws, if any, so you know how the party organization operates.
Step 5: Campaign & Meet your constituents.
You have the option of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. But if you want to increase your chances for winning here are some pointers for running a no-cost campaign for county committee.
Announce your candidacy to the incumbent committee person in your district as well as to the municipal or ward chair. This is a sign of respect. You may discover that the incumbent will simply step aside and hand you the seat if they are confident in you. This could save yourself a lot of time and energy. There may be some informal procedures for running in your town so you should consult with existing committee people, or preferably the local party by-laws to find out what they are. For example, you might have to submit a letter and your resume to the municipal chair. Put on your sneakers, put some dog treats in your pocket, and spend about 2 hours for several Sundays walking door to door to the registered party members in your district (using your walking list). Concentrate on those who voted in the last Primary election.Introduce yourself and tell them you would like to represent their interests to the local Political Party. Explain that you’ll be the neighborhood’s eyes and ears. Ask your neighbors, ”Can I count on your support” Keep track of your ”yes’s” and ”maybes”. Take your copy of the sample ballot which you will have received in the mail by then and show them where your name appears on the sample ballot. Show your voter list to friends and colleagues in town to see if they know any of these people and wouldn’t mind calling them to endorse you and to remind them to vote.
Step 5: Primary Election Day – Get out the “Yes” Votes!
Go and vote for yourself. Revisit the ”yes’s” and ”maybes” to ask them if they’ve been to the polls. If you like, you can go to the polling place when they close to find out the results. If you win or lose, thank those who supported you either through a letter or in person and congratulate your opponent on a good race.