First Running for Office Workshop successful; second one is coming in January
By DIANN ANDY
The League of Women Voters’ first-ever Running for Local Office Workshop, held in November, brought out 22 attendees -- some hopeful, some determined, some merely curious. A couple had run previously. All shared a common desire to become more active in local government.
City councilwoman Ana Sandoval spoke frankly about her background, her decision to run for city council, her campaign experiences, and the costs, both financially and in time, of running. Her willingness to graciously answer all questions was deeply appreciated by participants.
Following Councilwoman Sandoval’s presentation, we explored the following topics related to running for office:
- Offices up for election in 2018
- Research the office – know you’re qualified
- Choose and register a Treasurer before you file
- Collect signatures and the filing fee (these have recently changed)
- Complete financial reports required by TEC (Texas Ethics Commission)
Two topics proved most important to participants. First, collecting signatures is trickier than some expected, with the requirements that the signer be a registered Bexar County voter, and that s/he may only sign one petition per office.
The second topic involved the consequences of not filing the several financial reports required by the TEC. One participant, who had run in the past, had to drop out of the race due to his mother’s death. However, he did not know that he was required to continue to file the TEC reports. Not filing on time can cost $500/day.
When asked what they would want in a follow-up session in January, participants agreed on:
- Campaign financing
- Ethics requirements
- Best practices for garnering publicity, public speaking, etc.
- Finding a mentor
Don’t just complain; don’t become complacent or cynical! Take the first step to being part of the government you want to have! Anyone can attend Running for Local Office 201. There is no prerequisite. In fact, if you are running, we strongly advise that you attend with your treasurer. If you think you might run in the future, we suggest you attend with a possible treasurer. If you’re just thinking about thinking about running, we suggest you bring an interested friend.
Running for Local Office 201 will be held Monday, January 8, 6-8 p.m. at the Bexar County Elections Department, 1103 S Frio St., San Antonio. In addition to the above topics, we’ll meet some of the staff and take a tour of the facilities. Please join us!
You don’t need to have attended the first one to benefit from this one. The workshop and parking are free; to ensure we have enough materials, you must pre-register here.