So you want to run for local office…

Put your money where your mouth is! We will tell you how!

Original — February 22, 2016

How often have you heard your favorite armchair urban planner say “Why would they put Thing X here instead of this clearly better place over here?”

Do you ever ask “Who are ‘they,’ exactly? And why don’t you just become one of them?”

You should! It’s easier than you think to run for public office, many of which will be elected this year on November 8th. Here’s how.

Before you read further…

  1. Are you eligible to vote? You’ll need to be if you want to run.
  2. Did you move to Virginia within the last year? Sorry! You’ll have to be a resident of the commonwealth for one year before you can run for office.
  3. Don’t live within the locality that you’re trying to represent? Nope! Not allowed!

Mayor, City Council, and School Board

Filing deadline: June 14th

  1. Fill out this Candidate Qualification form (PDF).
  2. Fill out this Declaration of Candidacy (PDF).
  3. Get signatures on this petition (PDF) from adults who are eligible to vote in Richmond. It’s recommended to get about 150% of the required signatures, just to be sure enough of them are eligible. Mayoral candidates will need 500 (with at least 50 from each district),1 City Council and School Board both require 125 from the voting district, according to state law.
  4. Fill out this economic statement (PDF).
  5. Fill out the Statement of Organization (PDF). It’s not technically required at time of filing, but you’ll need it the second you receive money from someone, so you might as well turn it in now.

How to file

Submit all of the things you now have due to your diligent efforts in steps 1-5 to the General Registrar before 7:00 PM on June 14th.

General Registrar’s Office

Registrar’s Office
City of Richmond
‪900 E. Broad St., Room 105‬
Richmond, VA 23219

It’s only acceptable to use the “But the postmark has March 1st on it!” excuse for some of the forms and you’d have to do it by certified mail and show a receipt and stuff, so it just seems wiser to turn it in early. Or better yet, drop them off in person.

If you want to be notified that you’ve messed up somewhere in one of these forms, you have to include a written letter requesting such notification. Otherwise you’ll just be hoping and wondering and wondering and hoping–and suddenly your name just won’t be on the ballot and you might cry.

You can’t notarize your own stuff. Don’t even think about it.

— ∮∮∮ —

For all of the info, have fun making your way through this (PDF).

  1. This is in the City Code, and is larger than the number of signatures called for in Virginia law. 
  • error

    Report an error

Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

There are no reader comments. Add yours.