Clerk’s Corner: 5 steps to running for public office
January 4, 2018
Happy New Year! It's already 2018, and another election year is upon us. This year, we will be electing individuals for U.S. House Representatives, governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, state Board of Education, regent of the University of Colorado, state senators, state house representatives, as well as our local offices, which include county commissioner District 3, county assessor, clerk and recorder, coroner, sheriff, surveyor and treasurer.
Perhaps you have considered running for office? There are those of us who have wondered if we could do a better job than our current elected officials, if only we had the opportunity to serve. However, running for office can be a complicated and confusing process. Before you make the decision to seek an elected position, you may want to take a personal inventory and ask yourself the following questions.
• Do you have the time and patience to properly serve in the given position?
• Would you have the support of your family?
• What are your specific qualifications and areas of expertise that would prepare you for the position in which you would like to be elected?
• Do you have sufficient passion, ambition and the resilience necessary to assist you in competing for the office?
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• Are you actively involved in the community?
• Do you have support from your local political party?
• How confident are you in your public speaking abilities?
An important role of the Moffat County Election Office is to provide information and assistance to any person interested in running for public office within Moffat County. Following are some helpful tips that can guide you should you decided to participate as a candidate in the upcoming election.
• Step 1 — Determine what office you want to run for. Do you meet the minimum qualifications? You must be a registered voter in Moffat County for at least one year, 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen.
• Step 2 — Get familiar with the campaign finance laws and rules. Candidates are required to understand and comply with the Colorado Campaign and Political Finance Rules, Amendment 27, and the Fair Campaign Practices Act. You will find these resources on the Colorado Secretary of State's website, state.co.us.
• Step 3 — Publicly announce your intent to run for office. You must notify your local political party leaders of your intent to run as a candidate representing a designated political party. Corrie Ponikvar is the Republican chairperson and JoAnn Baxter is the Democrat chair.
• Step 4 — File the required papers to get your name on the ballot. This includes candidate affidavit, candidate committee or standalone candidate, as well as reports of contributions and expenditures.
• Step 5 — Pick up a candidate's guide and information packet from the County Election Office. Be sure to ask for a copy of the 2018 Election Calendar.
The following are very important dates.
• March 6 — Caucus Day (In each even-numbered year, political parties hold their precinct caucus on the first Tuesday in March)
• March 6 through March 31 — Party county assemblies (held in this time frame) Republican or Democratic Party Assemblies.
• April 20 — Last day a write-in candidate may file an Affidavit of Intent for the primary election.
• May 17 — First day an unaffiliated candidate may circulate or obtain signatures on a petition for nomination for the General Election. The last day to file is July 12.
• June 26 — Primary Election Day
• July 19 — Last day for a write-in candidate to file an Affidavit of Intent for the General Election.
• Nov. 6 — General Election Day.
As you contemplate a run for office and your future in politics, ponder these words of wisdom from Mahatma Ghandi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Lila Herod is Moffat County clerk and recorder.