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Elective Offices

Who Can Run For City Council?

Any member of the public who meets the requirements below may run for public office in the City of Sacramento. Candidates must:

  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of California
  • Be a registered voter and a resident within the district the candidate seeks to represent for not less than 30 days preceding the date of filing candidate papers. Registration will be verified before issuance of nomination papers. 

Candidate Forms

Candidates must obtain and complete the official nomination documents that are issued by the Office of the City Clerk. This is done during the official nomination period (February-March of an election year). For a Special Election, the nomination period will vary depending on the date of the Special Election. Please contact the Office of the City Clerk for more information. Nomination forms are issued at no charge.

Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for City holidays. To schedule an appointment, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at (916) 808-7200. A candidate should be prepared to provide their name and residential address for validation of current voter registration and eligibility status. Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the Candidate Instructional Guide prior to their scheduled appointment.

Candidate Instructional Guide

The nomination instructions are fully contained in the Candidate Instructional Guide (Please note this guide will be updated prior to each election). This information is provided to assist candidates in understanding the requirements necessary to run for municipal office. The manual is provided as a guide and should not substitute for legal, accounting or other professional services. Samples in this manual are not official forms and are provided for illustrative purposes only. Official forms are available only from the City Clerk. 

The filing schedule for financial reporting requirements associated with the June 7, 2016 Election can be found in the candidate instructional guide.  

Individuals interested in running for office are encouraged to attend a candidate forum provided by the Office of the City Clerk. Candidate forums  are open to the public and intended to provide an instructional overview of the deadlines, regulations, and process for running for office.  Please view the forum schedule for the June 7, 2016 Primary Municipal Election.

In addition to the Candidates Instructional Guide, several  video tutorials covering the process to run for elective office in the City of Sacramento are available for viewing on the City's YouTube channel.  Sacramento City Council

Sacramento City Council Members are elected to serve four year terms. There are no limits to the number of terms a person may serve. The term expirations for the City Council are staggered so that only half of the offices expire at a time. The terms for Mayor and Council Members of Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 expire in 2016, and terms for Members of Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 expire in 2018.

In the event that a City Council seat becomes vacant, a Special Election shall be held to fill the vacancy. As provided in the City Charter, the candidate who received the greatest number of votes at the Special Election shall be elected to fill the vacant office, no run-off election shall occur.

What Does It Mean To Be A Council Member In The City Of Sacramento?

Interested in a general description of what is involved in being a member of the City Council? For more information please review the Introduction section of the Candidate Instructional Guide.

Need Assistance Or Have Questions?

We are happy to assist you. Please contact us via email at: clerk@cityofsacramento.org, or by phone at (916) 808-7200.