Candidate Campaign Finance

Candidate Information – Texas Ethics Commission

This posting is intended to highlight some important requirements for candidates (primarily non-judicial) for office in the 2016 elections. Corrections and additions are welcome.  admin

Candidates are responsible for these filings and must verify all information here – this is for information only and is not guaranteed to be correct.

The Texas Ethics Commission website has most of the information needed to comply with campaign finance (contributions and expenditures) requirements.  Judicial candidates are referred to Judicial Candidate/Officeholder Forms & Instructions 

Candidates for state or local offices must file the Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer by a Candidate form. ( cta.pdf ) [ form CTA instructions ] when they become a candidate (file application for nomination) and before accepting campaign contributions or making expenditures.   The candidate may act as their own campaign treasurer.  [ Election Code Ch. 252 ]

Where to File:

File with County: Candidates for and holders of elective county offices, precinct offices, district attorney

File with Ethics Commission: Statewide candidates, legislative candidates; multi-county district attorney and multi-county district judge, single-county district judge, State Board of Education [ electronic filing  ]

Cities: City candidates and officeholders file with the city clerk or secretary.

Other Political Subdivisions: Candidates and officeholders for offices in other political subdivisions within a county (such as water districts) file with the clerk or secretary of the political subdivision

Filing Deadlines:  The filing schedule can be found here: s16state.pdf

These deadlines and descriptions are excerpted from the Non-Judicial Candidates Instruction Guide.  COH_ins.pdf

January 15 Report: All candidates and most officeholders must file a semiannual report by January 15. The only officeholders who are not required to file this report are  officeholders who file locally, who do not have a campaign treasurer  appointment on file, and who do not exceed $500 in contributions or expenditures during the reporting period.

Note: Anyone who has a campaign treasurer appointment (Form CTA) on file must file semiannual reports, even after an election has ended and even if the filer lost the election.

To end this semiannual filing requirement, the filer must cease campaign activity and file a Final Report. (See “Final Report” below for more information.)

July 15 Report: All candidates and most officeholders must file a semiannual report by July 15. The only officeholders who are not required to file this report are officeholders who file locally, who do not have a campaign treasurer appointment on file, and who do not exceed $500 in contributions or expenditures during the reporting period.

30th Day Before Election Report: Opposed candidates in an election who did not choose the modified reporting schedule must file this pre-election report. If an opposed candidate chose modified reporting, but then exceeded a threshold before the 30th day before the election, the candidate must file this report.

8th Day Before Election Report: Opposed candidates in an election who did not choose the modified reporting schedule must file this pre-election report. If an opposed candidate chose modified reporting but then exceeded a threshold before the 8th day before the election, the candidate must file this report.

Runoff Report: Opposed candidates who are participating in a runoff election and who did not choose the modified reporting schedule must file this runoff report. The report is due no later than 8 days before the runoff election. For all candidates and officeholders who file with Commission, this report must be received by the Commission no later than midnight Central Time on the report due date. For all candidates and officeholders who file locally, this report must be received by the filing authority no later than 5 p.m. on the report due date.

Exceeded $500 Limit Report: Candidates who chose to file under the modified reporting schedule but then, after the 30th day before the election, exceeded $500 in contributions or $500 in expenditures in connection with the election must file this Exceeded $500 Limit report within 48 hours after exceeding the $500 limit. The candidate must meet this deadline even if it falls on a weekend or a holiday.

Final Report: A person who has a campaign treasurer appointment on file may file this report when he or she does not expect to accept any further campaign contributions or make or authorize any further campaign expenditures. There is not a fixed deadline for this report. This report must have a completed “C/OH REPORT: DESIGNATION OF FINAL REPORT” (Form C/OH-FR) attached.

An opposed candidate in an election is eligible to report under the modified reporting schedule if he or she does not intend to accept more than $500 in political contributions or make more than $500 in political expenditures in connection with an election. The amount of a filing fee paid to qualify for a place on the ballot does not count against the $500 expenditure limit. An opposed candidate who reports under the modified schedule is not required to file pre-election reports (due 30 days and 8 days before an election) or runoff reports (due 8 days before a runoff). (Note: An unopposed candidate is not required to file pre-election reports in the first place.) The obligations to file semiannual reports, special pre-election reports (formerly known as telegram reports), or special session reports, if applicable, are not affected by selecting the modified schedule.

If you exceed either of the $500 limits after the 30th day before the election, you must file a sworn report of contributions and expenditures within 48 hours after exceeding the limit. After that, you must file any pre-election reports or runoff reports that are due under the regular filing schedule. CTA_ins.htm

Personal Financial Statement pfsforms_ins.html  [ Gov. Code Sec. 572.021  ]

Feb 12, 2016  [ Gov. Code Sec. 572.027  ]

May 2, 2016

Any service as a state officer between January 1 and April 30 in a calendar year triggers the requirement to file a personal financial statement with the Ethics Commission. The REGULAR FILING DEADLINE IS APRIL 30 each year (or the next business day if the 30th falls on a weekend or holiday), unless one of the alternate filing deadlines listed below applies.