candidates

Candidates

Under the City’s campaign laws, a candidate is an individual who seeks an elected City or LAUSD office and has filed the necessary paperwork to raise or spend campaign funds. The City’s elected offices are Mayor, City Attorney, Controller, and 15 City Council districts. LAUSD’s elected offices are five Board of Education districts.

REQUIREMENTS

Record Keeping

Candidates must create and maintain records that indicate compliance with the campaign finance laws and must provide those records to the Ethics Commission upon request. A person who supplies goods or services to a candidate must also maintain records of the candidate’s expenditures. Records must be maintained for at least four years.

Training

Candidates and their treasurers are required to complete a training conducted by the Ethics Commission in each election cycle that the candidate seeks a City or LAUSD office.

Disclosure

Candidates must file a variety of disclosure statements before, during, and after their candidacies. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”. Information disclosed by candidates may be accessed through the Public Data Portal.

  • Before

    Before soliciting or accepting a campaign contribution, a candidate must file the following forms with the Ethics Commission:

    Other disclosure forms must also be filed with the Ethics Commission and the Secretary of State to initiate candidacy.

  • During

    Candidates are required to periodically disclose their campaign activity, including their contributions, specific information about their contributors, their expenditures, and their campaign communications. The state’s disclosure statement (Form 460) is filed electronically with the Ethics Commission for most candidates and must be filed at least twice per hear (more frequently in an election cycle). Other disclosures may be triggered by specific activity, such as CA Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report), and the requirement to notify a contributor of $5,000 or more that the contributor may have its own disclosure obligations. Information disclosed by candidates, as well as copies of campaign communications, may be searched and viewed through the Public Data Portal.

  • After

    Candidates continue to have reporting obligations after an election, regardless of whether they win or not, until their campaign committees are terminated.

    City candidates who win an election become officeholders.

    LAUSD candidates who win an election are governed by the California Political Reform Act of 1974. Information is available from the Fair Political Practices Commission and from the LAUSD Ethics Office. The Ethics Commission retains jurisdiction over their LAUSD campaign committees and activities until all fundraising and audits have been completed.

LIMITATIONS

  • Fundraising Windows

    A contribution is anything of value (monetary or non-monetary) that is given to a candidate or campaign committee. Contributions may only be solicited and accepted within the following windows immediately prior to the primary election:

    Citywide Candidates24 months
    City Council Candidates18 months
    LAUSD Candidates18 months

  • Prohibited Contributions

    Some contributions are prohibited. For example, except in very limited circumstances, a City candidate may not solicit a contribution of any amount from a City employee, officer, or board member. In addition, a City candidate may not solicit or accept a contribution of any amount from the following:

    A lobbyist or lobbying firm that is registered to lobby the City office that the candidate seeks or holds.

    Any person in a City-owned building.

    A foreign national.

    An LAUSD candidate may not solicit or accept a contribution of any amount from the following:

    Any person in a government building.

    A foreign national.

  • Contribution Limits (City)

    A candidate may not solicit or accept contributions from other persons that exceed the limits established by law. To reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, City contribution limits are adjusted annually.

    To protect the contribution limits, contributions from two or more persons must be aggregated and treated as a contribution from a single person. Additional information about contributions is provided in the City Candidate Guide.

    LIMIT TYPEMAYORCITY ATTORNEYCONTROLLERCITY COUNCIL
    Per-person Contribution Limit$1,500$1,500$1,500$800
    Aggregate Limit on Non-individual Contributions$1,358,700$603,800$603,800$226,500
    Limit on Matching Funds Candidate's Use of Personal Funds$139,400$139,400$139,400$34,800
    Expenditure Ceiling for Matching Funds Candidates (Primary)$3,132,000$1,409,000$1,253,000$537,000
    Expenditure Ceiling for Matching Funds Candidates (General)$2,504,000$1,096,000$940,000$448,000
    Independent Spending Per Race That Lifts Expenditure Ceiling$346,000$174,000$174,000$86,000

    Other Contribution Limits:

    CONTRIBUTION TYPEDESCRIPTIONLIMIT
    CashPer-person cash contribution limit$30
    AnonymousAggregate limit on anonymous contributions$200
  • Contribution Limits (LAUSD)

    A candidate may not solicit or accept contributions from other persons that exceed the limits established by law. To reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, LAUSD contribution limits are adjusted every four years.

    To protect the contribution limits, contributions from two or more persons must be aggregated and treated as a contribution from a single person. Additional information about contributions is provided in the LAUSD Candidate Guide.

    Contribution TypeLimit Amount
    Cash Contributions$25 per person, per election
    Non-cash Contributions$1,200 per person, per election
    Anonymous Contributions$200 in total, per election
    Loans$1,200 per person, per election

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Appearing on a Ballot

    Information about how candidates qualify to appear on a ballot is available from the City Clerk’s Office.

  • Legal Defense Committees

    Candidates may establish legal defense committees to defray legal costs incurred in defending the candidate in a court case or an administrative proceeding arising directly out of the conduct of a City election, the electoral process, or the performance of City duties. Candidates may not solicit or accept contributions that exceed $1,400 per person per fiscal year, and they must report all contributions, expenditures, and other activity.

  • Matching Funds (City Candidates Only)

    City voters established a public matching funds program to promote a stage for multiple voices in City elections, to increase the value of small contributions, and to reduce the effect that private money can be seen to have on political processes. The program helps qualified City candidates pay for their campaigns without having to rely on excessive fundraising or expenditures.The program does not apply to LAUSD candidates.

    To qualify, a City candidate must meet specific criteria and must also limit campaign spending. Once qualified, the City gives the candidate public dollars to match private contributions from individuals who reside in the candidate’s district. As detailed in the following table, the maximum public funds available to City candidates are varies based on the office sought and the type of election.

    OFFICEPRIMARYGENERAL
    Mayor$667,000$800,000
    City Attorney$300,000$350,000
    Controller$267,000$300,000
    City Council$100,000$125,000

    Detailed information about the matching funds program is available in the City Candidate Guide , the Matching Funds FAQ, and other publications.

ELECTION TOTALS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For questions regarding specific scenarios, please contact us prior to taking action.

  • Can I be a candidate for more than one elected office in a single election?

    No, you may only file fundraising paperwork for one elected office per election.

  • When can a candidate file initial fundraising paperwork to begin fundraising for elected City or LAUSD office?

    A candidate for Mayor, City Attorney or City Controller, may file initial fundraising paperwork 24 months prior to the primary election. City Council candidates and LAUSD candidates may file initial fundraising paperwork 18 months prior to the primary election.

  • Can I transfer campaign contributions from my primary election committee to my general election committee?

    No, funds in your primary election committee may only be used to pay for costs associated with your primary campaign. Winning candidates may transfer left over funds into an officeholder committee.

  • What are the current contribution limits?

    The current per-person contribution limits may be viewed here. The City contribution limits are adjusted annually, and the LAUSD contribution limits are adjusted every four years.

  • How do I file campaign statements and communications?

    You must file electronically using the Campaign Electronic Filing System (CEFS). You must file a Form 18 to obtain an identification and password to log in to CEFS.

  • When do candidates file disclosure statements?

    Candidates are required to file disclosure statements by deadlines set in City and state laws. The filing schedules for City and LAUSD elections can be found here.

  • How can I find out about a candidate’s contributions and expenditures?

    You may view a candidate’s disclosure statements and search the information that is reported in the statements through our Public Data Portal.

PUBLIC DATA PORTAL

Search Former Website: Campaign | Lobbying

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REQUIREMENTS

Record Keeping

Candidates must create and maintain records that indicate compliance with the campaign finance laws and must provide those records to the Ethics Commission upon request. A person who supplies goods or services to a candidate must also maintain records of the candidate’s expenditures. Records must be maintained for at least four years.

Training

Candidates and their treasurers are required to complete a training conducted by the Ethics Commission in each election cycle that the candidate seeks a City or LAUSD office.

Disclosure

Candidates must file a variety of disclosure statements before, during, and after their candidacies. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”. Information disclosed by candidates may be accessed through the Public Data Portal.

  • Before

    Before soliciting or accepting a campaign contribution, a candidate must file the following forms with the Ethics Commission:

    Other disclosure forms must also be filed with the Ethics Commission and the Secretary of State to initiate candidacy.

  • During

    Candidates are required to periodically disclose their campaign activity, including their contributions, specific information about their contributors, their expenditures, and their campaign communications. The state’s disclosure statement (Form 460) is filed electronically with the Ethics Commission for most candidates and must be filed at least twice per hear (more frequently in an election cycle). Other disclosures may be triggered by specific activity, such as CA Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report), and the requirement to notify a contributor of $5,000 or more that the contributor may have its own disclosure obligations. Information disclosed by candidates, as well as copies of campaign communications, may be searched and viewed through the Public Data Portal.

  • After

    Candidates continue to have reporting obligations after an election, regardless of whether they win or not, until their campaign committees are terminated.

    City candidates who win an election become officeholders.

    LAUSD candidates who win an election are governed by the California Political Reform Act of 1974. Information is available from the Fair Political Practices Commission and from the LAUSD Ethics Office. The Ethics Commission retains jurisdiction over their LAUSD campaign committees and activities until all fundraising and audits have been completed.

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LIMITATIONS

  • Fundraising Windows

    A contribution is anything of value (monetary or non-monetary) that is given to a candidate or campaign committee. Contributions may only be solicited and accepted within the following windows immediately prior to the primary election:

    Citywide Candidates24 months
    City Council Candidates18 months
    LAUSD Candidates18 months

  • Prohibited Contributions

    Some contributions are prohibited. For example, except in very limited circumstances, a City candidate may not solicit a contribution of any amount from a City employee, officer, or board member. In addition, a City candidate may not solicit or accept a contribution of any amount from the following:

    A lobbyist or lobbying firm that is registered to lobby the City office that the candidate seeks or holds.

    Any person in a City-owned building.

    A foreign national.

    An LAUSD candidate may not solicit or accept a contribution of any amount from the following:

    Any person in a government building.

    A foreign national.

  • Contribution Limits (City)

    A candidate may not solicit or accept contributions from other persons that exceed the limits established by law. To reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, City contribution limits are adjusted annually.

    To protect the contribution limits, contributions from two or more persons must be aggregated and treated as a contribution from a single person. Additional information about contributions is provided in the City Candidate Guide.

    LIMIT TYPEMAYORCITY ATTORNEYCONTROLLERCITY COUNCIL
    Per-person Contribution Limit$1,500$1,500$1,500$800
    Aggregate Limit on Non-individual Contributions$1,358,700$603,800$603,800$226,500
    Limit on Matching Funds Candidate's Use of Personal Funds$139,400$139,400$139,400$34,800
    Expenditure Ceiling for Matching Funds Candidates (Primary)$3,132,000$1,409,000$1,253,000$537,000
    Expenditure Ceiling for Matching Funds Candidates (General)$2,504,000$1,096,000$940,000$448,000
    Independent Spending Per Race That Lifts Expenditure Ceiling$346,000$174,000$174,000$86,000

    Other Contribution Limits:

    Cash ContributionsPer-person limit$30
    Anonymous ContributionsAggregate limit$200
  • Contribution Limits (LAUSD)

    A candidate may not solicit or accept contributions from other persons that exceed the limits established by law. To reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index, LAUSD contribution limits are adjusted every four years.

    To protect the contribution limits, contributions from two or more persons must be aggregated and treated as a contribution from a single person. Additional information about contributions is provided in the LAUSD Candidate Guide.

    Contribution TypeLimit Amount
    Cash Contributions (Per Person, Per Election)$25 per person, per election
    Non-cash Contributions (Per Person, Per Election)$1,200 per person, per election
    Anonymous Contributions (In Total, Per Election)$200 in total, per election
    Loans (Per Person, Per Election)$1,200 per person, per election
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Appearing on a Ballot

    Information about how candidates qualify to appear on a ballot is available from the City Clerk’s Office.

  • Legal Defense Committees

    Candidates may establish legal defense committees to defray legal costs incurred in defending the candidate in a court case or an administrative proceeding arising directly out of the conduct of a City election, the electoral process, or the performance of City duties. Candidates may not solicit or accept contributions that exceed $1,400 per person per fiscal year, and they must report all contributions, expenditures, and other activity.

  • Matching Funds (City Candidates Only)

    City voters established a public matching funds program to promote a stage for multiple voices in City elections, to increase the value of small contributions, and to reduce the effect that private money can be seen to have on political processes. The program helps qualified City candidates pay for their campaigns without having to rely on excessive fundraising or expenditures.The program does not apply to LAUSD candidates.

    To qualify, a City candidate must meet specific criteria and must also limit campaign spending. Once qualified, the City gives the candidate public dollars to match private contributions from individuals who reside in the candidate’s district. As detailed in the following table, the maximum public funds available to City candidates are varies based on the office sought and the type of election.

    PRIMARYGENERAL
    Mayor$667,000$800,000
    City Attorney$300,000$350,000
    Controller$267,000$300,000
    City Council$100,000$125,000

    Detailed information about the matching funds program is available in the City Candidate Guide , the Matching Funds FAQ, and other publications.

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WHAT DO I FILE?

Begin Candidacy

The following forms must be filed to begin your candidacy for the 2020 City Election.

Form Required
Due Date

Citywide candidates (Mayor, City Attorney, Controller) may file 24 months before the election date.

City Council and LAUSD candidates may file 18 months before the election date.

Within 10 days of opening a campaign committee bank account.

When email addresses, social media accounts, and websites are established.

Within 10 days of raising $2,000.

Before or during Candidate Filing Week.

During Candidate Filing Week.

Filing Schedule

The following filing schedule applies if your raise or spend less than $2,000 per calendar year:

Due Date
Form Required
Period Covered
Jan 31, 2019
2018 Annual
Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2018
Jan 31, 2020
2019 Annual
Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2019

The following filing schedule applies if you raise or spend $2,000 or more per calendar year:

This filing schedule is tentative and assumes a March 2020 primary election. The date of the primary will be confirmed after November 6, 2018, when voters will decide if primary elections should be moved from June to March. Download PDF.

PRIMARY ELECTION: March 3, 2020

Due Date
Form Required
Period Covered
Jan 31, 2019
Semi-Annual
Jul 1 - Dec 31, 2018
Jul 31, 2019
Semi-Annual
Jan 1 - Jun 30, 2019
Oct 10, 2019
Quarterly
Jul 1 - Sep 30, 2019
Jan 10, 2020
Quarterly
Oct 1 - Dec 31, 2019
Jan 23, 2020
1st Pre-Election
Jan 1 - Jan 18, 2020
Feb 20, 2020
2nd Pre-Election
Jan 19 - Feb 15, 2020
Feb 28, 2020
3rd Pre-Election
Feb 16 - Feb 26, 2020
Jul 31, 2020
Semi-Annual
Feb 27 - Jun 30, 2020


GENERAL ELECTION: November 2, 2020 (if necessary)

Due Date
Form Required
Period Covered
Jul 31, 2020
Semi-Annual
Feb 27 - Jun 30, 2020
Sep 24, 2020
1st Pre-Run Off
Jul 1 - Sep 19, 2020
Oct 22, 2020
2nd Pre-Run Off
Sep 20 - Oct 17, 2020
Oct 30, 2020
3rd Pre-Run Off
Oct 18 - Oct 28, 2020
Feb 1, 2021
3rd Pre-Run Off
Nov 4 - Dec 31, 2020
Required Per Activity

The following forms are required when you perform certain activities:

Activity
Form Required
Due Date
Receive $1,000 or more within 90 days of election.
Within 24 hours of receipt.
Distribute a communication to 200 or more persons.

For City candidates:

  • Within 24 hours of distribution between candidate filing week and the general election.
  • Within 5 business days of distribution otherwise.

For LAUSD candidates:

  • Within 24 hours of distribution
Personal financial interests are affected by a City action.
Within 10 calendar days of action.
Serve in a ceremonial role at an event.
Within 45 days of event.
End Candidacy

The following form must be filed if you choose to withdraw your candidacy before the election:

Form Required
Due Date
When candidacy is withdrawn.

The following forms must be filed to terminate your candidate campaign committee:

Form Required
Period Covered
Due Date

Campaign Statement of Organization (Form 410)

This form must be filed as a Termination statement.

N/A
When you terminate your committee

Campaign Recipient Committee Campaign Statement (Form 460) (Termination)

Your final campaign statement is considered a Termination statement.

Any time period since your last campaign statement, up to the date you terminate your committee.
Next filing deadline after the committee termination date.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For questions regarding specific scenarios, please contact us prior to taking action.

  • Can I be a candidate for more than one elected office in a single election?

    No, you may only file fundraising paperwork for one elected office per election.

  • When can a candidate file initial fundraising paperwork to begin fundraising for elected City or LAUSD office?

    A candidate for Mayor, City Attorney or City Controller, may file initial fundraising paperwork 24 months prior to the primary election. City Council candidates and LAUSD candidates may file initial fundraising paperwork 18 months prior to the primary election.

  • Can I transfer campaign contributions from my primary election committee to my general election committee?

    No, funds in your primary election committee may only be used to pay for costs associated with your primary campaign. Winning candidates may transfer left over funds into an officeholder committee.

  • What are the current contribution limits?

    The current per-person contribution limits may be viewed here. The City contribution limits are adjusted annually, and the LAUSD contribution limits are adjusted every four years.

  • How do I file campaign statements and communications?

    You must file electronically using the Campaign Electronic Filing System (CEFS). You must file a Form 18 to obtain an identification and password to log in to CEFS.

  • When do candidates file disclosure statements?

    Candidates are required to file disclosure statements by deadlines set in City and state laws. The filing schedules for City and LAUSD elections can be found here.

  • How can I find out about a candidate’s contributions and expenditures?

    You may view a candidate’s disclosure statements and search the information that is reported in the statements through our Public Data Portal.

? ?

PUBLIC DATA PORTAL

Search Former Website: Campaign | Lobbying

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