Chesterton Tribune



Candidate filing opens today for 2020 election: How to file for local races

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Candidate filing for the 2020 primary election begins today: Wednesday, Jan. 8 and concludes at noon local time Friday, Feb. 7. Dunelanders may file for candidacy in a host of local, state, and federal races.

Based on residency, Dunelanders may be eligible to run for the following elected positions: Porter County Commissioner north district; Porter County Council at-large (three seats); County Treasurer; County Surveyor; Ogden Dunes Town Council Wards 2, 3, and 4; Indiana Senate District 4, Indiana House of Representatives Districts 9, 10, and 4; Porter Circuit Court Judge; and U.S. House of Representatives District 1.

Dunelanders may also be eligible to run to represent the Republican party as Precinct Committeemen in Jackson, Liberty, Westchester, or Pine Township, or to represent District 1 (Jackson, Liberty, Westchester, and Pine Townships, for a total of 10 delegates) as Republican State Convention Delegates.

General Eligibility

For most local offices, a candidate must be a registered voter in the district he or she is seeking to represent and must have lived in that district, at a primary residence, for a certain amount of time, usually one year.

A candidate for office may be an employee of the same government unit he or she is running to represent, but must resign that position if elected. The Candidate Guide gives the example that a full-time paid firefighter may not hold a local government position in a town protected by fire services from his or her Fire Department. Candidates may work for one local government unit and be an elected office holder in another.

Candidates must not be prohibited from participating in certain partisan political activities under the Hatch Act. Page nine of the Candidate Guide informs would-be candidates on how to find out if this applies to them.

Citizens who have been convicted of a felony or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony charge, or a felony charge that was later reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, may not run for local office, per Indiana Code.

Find the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide, and candidate filing forms, here: SOS: Candidate Information <>

SOS: Candidate Information

For Major Parties

Candidates from the major parties must file two forms: a CAN-2, declaration of candidacy, and a CAN-12, statement of economic interests. These forms should be turned in to the Porter Elections & Registration office in suite 105 of the County Administration Center, 155 Indiana Avenue, Valparaiso, no later than noon on Feb. 7. The Elections & Registration office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For Libertarians, Minor Parties, and Independents

Libertarian candidates are not on the ballot in the primary election. Libertarian candidates do not have to file the CAN-2 because they will be nominated by party town conventions hosted by the party’s state committee later in the year, according to the Candidate Guide.

Other minor party or independent candidates must file three forms: CAN-20, written consent to become a candidate, a petition of nomination (either the CAN-19 or the CAN-21, depending on what office the candidate is seeking), and the CAN-12. Minor party and independent candidates must file a petition signed by a certain number of registered voters in the district they are seeking election. That number is equal to two percent of the number of votes cast for Secretary of State in the last general election in the County where the candidate is seeking office. The Elections & Registration Office will verify the registration status of each petition signer, and page 113 of the Candidate Guide outlines how many signatures candidates need, ordered by County.

These candidates may turn in their completed petitions starting today, and have until noon local time on Monday, June 30 to submit them to the Elections & Registration office for verification. Starting this year, candidates will not have to get their petitions verified at one County building and then deliver them to another--all forms will be filed at the Elections & Registration Office.

To run for State, Federal, or Legislative Offices, including Circuit Court Judge, State Senate and State House of Representatives, and U.S. Congress, Dunelanders must file with the Indiana Election Division in Indianapolis. Forms are not considered filed until they are received and processed by an employee. Forms can be submitted by mail or delivered in person to: Indiana Election Division Office of the Secretary of State, Indiana Government Center, S. E-204 302 W. Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204. Candidate forms cannot be emailed or faxed. For certain offices, some forms may need to be directed to a different State office. The Candidate Guide explains where each form should be submitted, provides instructions for how to do so, and provides contact information for each office candidates may need to file forms with.

Specific Eligibility

In addition to being generally eligible to be a candidate in Indiana, the following specific requirements apply to local offices that are up for grabs this year.

Town Council terms are staggered and organized by Ward in Ogden Dunes. Wards 2, 3, and 4 are up for election this year. To file for Ogden Dunes Town Council, candidates must live in the Ward they are seeking to represent. Voting, however, is not by ward. All voters may vote for all wards. View a map of Ogden Dunes’ voting wards here:

Precinct committeemen and state convention delegates are not considered ‘elected’ offices, but ‘political’ offices. No state requirements mandate that candidates for these offices live in the district they seek to represent; however, the Candidate Guide warns that party-specific rules may contain residency requirements. Precinct committeemen and state convention delegates are exempt from the financial disclosure requirement.

To be a candidate for Porter County Treasurer or Surveyor, candidates must have lived in Porter County for at least one year.

To be a candidate for North Porter County Commissioner, the candidate must have lived in Porter County for at least a year prior to election and lived in the north district for at least six months prior to election.

To be a County Council member at-large, candidates must have lived in Porter County for at least one year at the time of election.

To be a candidate for U.S. Representative in District 1, candidates must be at least 25-years-old and have been American citizens for at least seven years. There is no residency requirement for candidates to live in the district they seek to represent or even to live in Indiana before the date of the general election in November, according to the Candidate Guide.

Candidates for State Senate must be United States Citizens at least 25-years-old who have lived in Indiana for at least two years and in the district they seek to represent for at least one year prior to the election.

Candidates for State Representative must be United States Citizens at least 21-years-old who have lived in Indiana for at least two years and in the district they seek to represent for at least one year prior to the election.

Candidates for State Senate and Representative must file their CAN-12s with the principal clerk of their respective legislative body. CAN-12s must be delivered by person or mail.

Candidates for Circuit Court Judge must reside in the circuit they seek to represent and be admitted to the practice of law in Indiana by the time of election. Circuit Court candidates file their CAN-12s with the State Court Administration.


Posted 1/8/2020




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