Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Running for Office

The following pages provide an abbreviation of the steps required to run for office.  The Ethics Commission has produced a comprehensive Candidates’ Guide for City Elective Office, as well as supplements for candidates for Mayor or Supervisor, that explain the rules in detail.

County Central Committee seats are NOT considered City elective offices and have different filing obligations. Candidates for these seats should see the Information for Candidates for County Central Committee page.

To get started candidates for City elective office must complete the following steps:

Establish candidacy

City elective office

Before a candidate solicits or accepts campaign contributions (including loans) or uses any personal funds for campaign purposes (excluding filing fees), the candidate must file a Candidate Intention Statement (FPPC Form 501) with the San Francisco Ethics Commission and a Declaration of Intent to Solicit and Accept Contributions with the San Francisco Department of Elections. Please contact the Department of Elections for questions about qualifying as a candidate for the ballot (see link below).

The Ethics Commission has published a filing checklist for candidates, which includes the forms that must be filed for those wishing to participate in public financing (see below).

County Central Committee

County Central Committee seats are NOT considered City elective offices and have different filing obligations. Candidates for these seats should see the Information for Candidates for County Central Committee page.

Disclose financial interests

Each candidate must file a Statement of Economic Interests (FPPC Form 700) with the Department of Elections disclosing investments, interests in real property, and income received during the immediately preceding 12 months. This statement must be filed by the deadline for filing nomination papers.  Please note:  The Department of Elections requires this form to be filed in hard-copy.

File a Statement of Organization

If a candidate raises $2,000 or more, he or she must file a Statement of Organization (FPPC Form 410) with the Secretary of State (SOS) and the Ethics Commission within 10 days of receiving contributions totaling $2,000 or more. This statement may be filed before a candidate receives $2,000 if the candidate contemplates receiving $2,000 or more. After the Form 410 is filed, the SOS will issue an identification number (FPPC ID#) that the candidate must use on all subsequent filings. Candidate-controlled committees must include the following information in the committee’s name: the last name of the controlling candidate, the office sought and the year of the election.

If a candidate does not plan to raise $2,000, the candidate may elect to file an Officeholder/Candidate Campaign Statement-Short Form (FPPC Form 470) rather than FPPC Form 410. Candidates with controlled committees may not use the FPPC Form 470.

Set up an electronic filing account

Candidates that file the FPPC Form 410 and establish a committee must file campaign statements electronically. Candidates that file FPPC Form 470 may opt to file electronic statements.  Review the registration requirements to sign up for electronic filing.

Complete training

Candidates for City elective office and their treasurer/assistant treasurer must attend a training conducted by Ethics Commission staff prior to each election in which the candidate will appear on the ballot. An individual who serves as the treasurer for more than one committee is not required to attend a training if that individual has attended such a training within the previous 12 months. See the Commission’s page for upcoming training sessions for candidates and treasurers. While other campaign representatives are not required to attend a training session, they are welcome to attend.

When you R.S.V.P. to the Ethics Commission, please provide the names of all the people who will attend, emails, phone numbers, and the office sought by the candidate.

San Francisco Ethics Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220
(415) 252-3100
ethics.commission@sfgov.org

Important: After completing the training, the candidate and treasurer/assistant treasurer must file a Training for Candidates and Treasurers (SFEC Form 107).

Public Financing Program

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