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Candidate Forms and Information

These forms are for individuals who would like to run for office at all political levels, including options for filing as a write-in or petitioning to be an independent/minor party candidate.

Filing Forms, Regulations and Withdrawl

Petitions and Waivers

Financial Reporting

All candidates, political action committees, and executive committees can use this area to find the necessary forms for recording and reporting their political financial transactions.

City of Bridgeport Charter

Tips for Starting your Campaign

Tip 1: Do not accept any contributions before you file.

  • A candidate must file a Precandidacy Form or file for office before he/she can accept contributions or spend money.
  • A candidate must organize a committee and appoint a treasurer before doing any campaigning using a committee name.
  • A group of citizens must file a Statement of Organization of a political committee before beginning activity.
  • The Statement of Organization of a committee must be filed at least 28 days before an election.

Tip 2: Decide who will handle the money and do the reporting.

  • Choose a person who is trustworthy, able to manage money, able to understand reporting, available to be involved from day to day, and able to meet deadlines.
  • The law requires that all contributions and expenditures must go through the treasurer or financial agent, so that person must be involved from beginning to end.
  • A candidate may serve as his or her own financial agent, but often the demands of a campaign make this unwise.

Tip 3: Prepare and file the Statement of Organization.

  • Choose the committee name carefully, once you have printed materials with the name, it is expensive to make a change. Avoid names that are too similar to another committee which is already organized. Contact the Secretary of State's Office at (304) 558-6000 or elections to see if the name you've chosen is available.
  • Decide what address the the committee & treasurer will use.
  • Complete the appropriate form.
    • Candidates: Use Form F-3: Candidate Designation of Treasurer or Financial Agent.
    • Organizations: Use Form F-4: Statement of Organization of Political Action Committee or Polical Party Executive Committee.
  • File in person with the proper office - City of Bridgeport, Office of the City Clerk, 515 W. Main Street, Bridgeport, WV 26330.

Tip 4: Set up a checking account.

  • Never mix campaign funds with personal funds or parent organization funds. It is best to establish a checking account in the name of the committee or campaign. The bank usually requires a Social Security number or business tax number.
  • For candidates - the candidate or treasurer's number is usually used.
  • For organizations - the parent organization's business tax ID is usually used.
  • For a candidate's campaign, the candidate contributions should be made to the campaign by check and deposited in the campaign checking account.
  • For a PAC, the first contributions should be used to set up the account, not other funds from the group.

Tip 5: Go over the rules with volunteers.

  • All volunteers and campaign staff need to understand the rules about campaign finance. Although a volunteer might make a mistake, the treasurer is responsible for correcting it and is the person who would be charged with any violations of the law.
  • Understand what information you need from contributors for reporting. This will save going back to contributors a second time to request more information.
  • Brief volunteers about the limits of reimbursements and other rules that will affect them personally.

Tip 6: Set up your records and keep them up to date.

  • Review contributions when they arrive and record them promptly.
  • Invoices must go to the treasurer.
  • When a company requires payment up front - such as for advertising - find out what the cost will be and get the check from the treasurer. If someone must pay from personal funds and get reimbursement, it is very important to keep the paid invlice with the campaign records.
  • Review the reporting forms and prepare them as contributions are received and expenditures made. This will make reporting much easier.