Candidate shaking hands with the public


To run for office in San Francisco, you must file for candidacy with the Department of Elections. If you wish to file for federal or state office, visit the website of the California Secretary of State for information.

All candidates must complete the nomination process by the legal filing deadline established by law. The Department strongly encourages you to file all required forms in advance of the legal deadline. Filing early allows candidates ample time to satisfy requirements and correct any errors or omissions with your nomination documents. The Department cannot make exceptions to the filing deadline, under any circumstance.

The Department of Elections is happy to assist with your candidate filing needs. To schedule an appointment, call us or use our appointment form.

Calendar for Candidates

The candidacy process must be completed during the nomination period. Filing deadlines are set by law and cannot be extended under any circumstance. To learn more about what activities must occur during specified periods, consult the calendar. Use the drop-down menu to filter the list for activities related to a specific office.

Resources for Candidates


Candidate Guides

The San Francisco Department of Elections has prepared a guide to assist candidates for local elective offices. This guide is intended to answer common questions about the nomination process and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Candidates and campaign staff should not rely solely on this guide, but should consult applicable laws and ordinances to ensure they meet all legal requirements for nomination. After consulting the guide, if you have additional questions, contact our office.

Superior Court Justice Candidate Guide (PDF)
Central Committee Candidate Guide (PDF)

Other Resources

Application for Voter Registration Information (PDF)
California Elections Code allows certain voter registration information to be made available to persons or groups for election, scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purposes as determined by the California Secretary of State. For information about requesting this file, see the Application for Voter Registration Information.

Workshops and Presentations

The Department of Elections presents a series of candidate workshops designed to provide an overview of the process for running for Office of Board of Supervisors, Board of Education, and Community College Board in San Francisco. Workshops are hosted by elections personnel and are designed to assist candidates and campaign representatives in preparing for campaign season.

As new events and presentations are scheduled, more information will be made available on this page. To learn more about candidate workshops and presentations, call the Department or use our appointment form.


Event Date Description
Intro to Ballot Arguments

Department of Elections, Room 48
To be determined
Workshop to walk submitters and authors through the Ballot Argument submittal process.

Topics Covered: Forms, Common Errors, Helpful Tips