How to Run for Office

The Process – Running for Elected Office

The next General Municipal Election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

During the filing period, first, please contact the City Clerk via email at or phone at (760) 435-3001 to set up an appointment. The filing period will begin on July 13, 2020, and will end on August 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm. At your appointment, the City Clerk will issue the official nomination papers to you. We recommend that you set your appointment at the beginning of the filing period to give yourself enough time to gather the required number of nomination signatures (a minimum of 20 and no more than 30 signatures of registered Oceanside voters).

At that time, the City Clerk will also provide you with a Candidate Handbook, which contains information and various forms to assist you as you run for office. You will receive information on the election process and deadlines to return certain forms and have any questions you may have answered.

There is the option to have a Candidate Statement of Qualifications printed in the sample ballot. If you choose this option, there is a direct cost to you for the printing and translation of your statement. The cost is due when you return your paperwork at the end of the filing period, if you choose this option.

Necessary Forms When Running for Office

As a result of the Political Reform Act, candidates must file certain forms related to contributions received and expenditures made during their campaign.

Once you choose to become a potential candidate, you will need to file a Form 501: Candidate Intention Statement before you solicit or receive any contributions or before you make expenditures even from personal funds on behalf of your candidacy. Submit this form to the City Clerk Department.

If you plan to receive or expend $1,000 during your campaign, the City of Oceanside requires you to file a Form 410: Statement of Organization Recipient Committee. This creates your candidate committee and secures a Fair Political Practices Commission ID number. You will file this form with the Secretary of State, along with their $50 fee. A copy is filed with the City Clerk Department. You must file this form within 10 days of receiving $1,000 in contributions, but you may file it early. Contact the City Clerk Department at (760) 435-3001 if you have questions.  Once the committee is formed and the Secretary of State provides you with a committee ID number, all contributions and expenditures must go through the committee's established bank account.

Under the Fair Political Practices Commission regulations, there will be specific deadlines where you will file either a Form 460: Recipient Committee Campaign Statement or a Form 470: Officeholder and Candidate Campaign Statement Short Form if you don't plan on raising over $2,000. These forms track the money. Again, contact the City Clerk Department with any questions. The City of Oceanside requires these forms and others to be filed electronically. Please see the page  Electronic Filing on this web site. Once the City Clerk Department receives your Form 410, an account will be created in the electronic filing system.

NOTE: The City Clerk Department strongly encourages candidates and their designated treasurer to watch the "Candidate & Treasurer Webinar" video presented by the Fair Political Practices Commission, which walks you through the disclosure process. It can be located on the FPPC's website.