CHEYENNE – After months of thinking, hinting and some outright campaigning, it’s time for most of this year’s candidates for public office to make their runs official.
Starting today, candidates seeking most local, state and federal offices can officially file campaign paperwork. They’ll have until 5 p.m. Friday, June 1, to make their way to the proper office.
The primary election will be Aug. 21, followed by the general election Nov. 6.
Below is a guide to running for almost every office up for grabs this fall.
Those running for one of the three open seats – one in each ward – on the Cheyenne City Council will need to go see City Clerk Carol Intlekofer, whose office is in Room 101 in the Municipal Building, 2101 O’Neil Ave.
There, they’ll need to submit an “Application for Nomination by Primary,” which is available online or at the office and gathers information to ensure eligibility. They also must pay a $25 fee.
City offices are nonpartisan, so candidates will not need to state their party affiliation.
The two candidates with the most votes in each ward’s primary will advance to the general election.
If a write-in candidate is one of the top two vote-getters in the primary, that person will need to fill out the application within two days of the primary election.
Those running for a Laramie County office, such as commissioner or assessor, will need to go to the County Clerk’s Office at 309 W. 20th St.
They’ll fill out the same form and pay the same $25 fee as council candidates, with two key differences:
– All county elected positions are partisan, so candidates must also state their party affiliation.
– All offices represent the entire county, so candidates don’t have to live in a certain ward or area.
In the commissioners’ race, the top three Republican and Democratic vote-getters in the primary will proceed to the general election, where the top three vote-getters overall will take the seats.
With the other offices, like sheriff and treasurer, only the top Republican and top Democrat in the primaries advance to the general election.
Third-party candidates don’t take part in primaries, but are instead nominated to the general election ballot via party convention. They will need to file with the County Clerk’s Office by Aug. 20.
Those filing as independent candidates will need to collect signatures equaling at least 2 percent of the number of votes the county last cast for a congressional representative. There were 40,254 votes cast in the 2016 race won by U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, so a successful independent candidate would need to gather 805 signatures and file their petition with the County Clerk’s Office by Aug. 27.
Federal and state offices
Candidates for federal and statewide office – congressional seats, governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state superintendent of public instruction, state auditor and all legislative offices – must file with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office on the sixth floor of the Wyoming Financial Center, 2020 Carey Ave., or at soswy.state.wy.us/elections.
Campaigns for those offices proceed much like county races.
Candidates must register party affiliation, Republicans and Democrats will face off in their primaries, and Constitution and Libertarian Party candidates will advance directly to the Nov. 6 general election through nomination at a party convention.
Unaffiliated or independent candidates for these offices will also need signatures within their jurisdiction to qualify for ballot access. Statewide office petitioners will need 5,036 signatures; legislative office petitioners will need 2 percent of the votes cast in their particular district in the last election.
Those running for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and statewide offices pay a $200 filing fee. Candidates for state House and Senate pay $25.
All statewide candidates, including legislative candidates, must create a candidate account on the Wyoming Campaign Finance Information System through the secretary of state’s website. Federal candidates must file through the Federal Election Commission.
Through their accounts, candidates will need to file reports on contributions to their campaigns and advertising. Campaign committees and political action committees will also need to register.
Local candidates will need to file campaign committee and finance reports with the Laramie County Clerk’s Office.
Failure to file required paperwork with the secretary of state is subject to a $500 fine. Local candidates failing to file paperwork can be fined $200.
Those with questions about campaign filing and other elections matters for legislative, statewide and federal candidates can send an email to [email protected] or call 307-777-5860.
The Cheyenne City Clerk’s Office can be reached at 307-637-6329. The Laramie County Clerk’s Office is at 307-633-6324.