Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

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 the state laws, and City Code and Administrative Rules.

For detailed information, candidates should refer to the Candidate Information Packet.  

*Please note: if filing by declaration and fee, the Elections Division can now accept payment with a credit or debit card.*


Three offices will appear on the ballot for the 2016 municipal primary election: Mayor, Commissioner Position No. 1, and Commissioner Position No. 4. For each City office on the ballot, if no candidate receives a majority of votes at the May 17, 2016 Municipal Primary Election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for that office will appear on the November 8, 2016 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, the 2016 Secretary of State's Candidate Manual for local jurisdictions and the 2016 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 10th, 2015.  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 ($30 Commissioner and Auditor)/ $50 Mayor)


(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, and a candidate must submit a Voter’s Pamphlet statement by March 21, 2016.

All required filing forms can be accessed at the Elections Form Library.


Candidate Deadlines
Within 3 days of any
contribution or expenditure
  Establish a Principal Campaign Committee
September 10, 2015   1st day to file as a candidate
March 8, 2016   Last day to file as a candidate
March 11, 2016   Last day to withdraw as candidate
March 17, 2016   Deadline for Auditor to file list of candidates with County
March 21, 2016   Deadline for candidate filing in Voters' Pamphlet
April 5, 2016   7-Day Transaction Reporting in ORESTAR begins
May 17, 2016   Municipal Primary Election


* 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.