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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

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Candidate Filing Procedures


Below is a quick reference guide on how to run for office in the City of Portland. Information contained herein should not be considered as having the same weight and authority as City Code or City Administrative Rules. Candidates are responsible for understanding and complying with state laws, Portland City Code and administrative rules.

For detailed information, candidates should refer to the Candidate Information Packet (to be updated July, 2019). 

*Please note: if filing by declaration and fee, the Elections Division can only accept payment with a check or cash* 


Three offices will appear on the ballot for the 2020 municipal primary election: Commissioner Position No 1, Commissioner Position No. 4, and Mayor. For each City office on the ballot, if no candidate receives a majority of votes at the May 19, 2020 Municipal Primary Election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for that office will appear on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot.

There are two general steps to run for city office, as listed below. All candidates should refer to the Candidate Information Packet for filing forms and the latest Secretary of State's Candidate Manual for local jurisdictions and Campaign Finance Manual

Step One

Establish a Principal Campaign Committee with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Election Division by registering in the ORESTAR system, and filing the Statement of Organization and the Campaign Account Information forms.*

Candidates must file these forms within 3 business days of receiving a contribution or making an expenditure, even if prior to September 12th, 2019.  These forms must be filed prior to filing for candidacy.

Step Two

File for office with the City’s Election Division through either option:

(A) Declaration and fee. Candidates submit filing forms along with a fee ($50 for Mayor/ $30 for Commissioner and Auditor)


(B) Nominating Petition. Candidates file a prospective petition, collect 100 valid signatures and then file the completed petition along with the other candidate filing forms. No fee is required.

A candidate has not officially filed for office until all required items are submitted in a sufficient form. During the campaign, a candidate must routinely report contributions and expenditures. 

* Not all candidates are required to establish a Principal Campaign Committee. For more information, please see the Secretary of State’s Quick Guide on campaign finance reporting.