Local Politics

Candidate filing opens soon for 2010 elections

Posted January 24, 2010
Updated February 8, 2010

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— Prospective politicians and incumbents can start filing soon to stand as candidates in the 2010 elections.

Many offices are up for grabs: one United States Senate seat; all 13 U.S. House of Representatives seats; at least one seat on the State Supreme Court and four on the State appeals court; and all 50 seats in the state Senate and 120 seats in the state House of Representatives.

For party-affiliated candidates, the filing period opens at noon Feb. 8 and closes at 5 p.m. Feb. 26. Unaffiliated candidates have until June 25 to file, and write-in candidates until Aug. 4, since neither type of candidate doesn't have to participate in primaries.

Primaries will be held May 4 and any run-off primaries on June 22, and the general election takes place Nov. 2.

By Feb. 26, party-affiliated candidates must have filed a signed, certified notice of candidacy and paid a filing fee to the State Board of Elections or a county board of election, depending on whether they are running for federal or state and local offices.

Party-affiliated candidates must be a registered member of the party and cannot have changed their affiliation less than 90 days before the filing date.

The filing fee is equal to 1 percent of the salary of the office for which a person is running – for example, $1,740 for the U.S. Congress and $207 for the state General Assembly.

Unaffiliated candidates must also have collected a certain number of certified signatures by June 24: from 2 percent of voters in the most recent gubernatorial election, or 85,379, for the U.S. Senate; and 4 percent of the registered voters in the district for the U.S. House, state House and state Senate.

Write-in candidates must collect 500 signatures from qualified voters for the U.S. Senate; 250 signatures for multi-county U.S. House and state General Assembly districts; and 100 signatures or signatures from 1 percent of the voters if there are fewer than 5,000 qualified voters in single-county U.S. House and state General Assembly districts.

The signatures for state office must be certified by the county election boards, and for federal office, by the State Board of Election.

Candidates running for the General Assembly or judicial office must also file a statement of economic interest. Candidates must list income and financial assets and liabilities – such as a mortgage, stocks, business ownership or credit card debt – for themselves and their household. Candidates, though, should not list the monetary value of those items.

The statement of economic interest also asks about candidates' lobbying activities and criminal background and has a section for them to report any ethical concerns.

Candidates must also meet certain age, citizenship and residency requirements for offices. One notable exception is the U.S. House; a candidate does not have to live in the district which they are seeking to represent.

  • U.S. Senate: at least 30 years old, citizen for at least nine years, resident of North Carolina
  • U.S. House: at least 25 years old, citizen for at least seven years, resident of North Carolina
  • N.C. Senate: at least 25 years old, qualified North Carolina voter and resident for at least two years, resident of the district for at least one year before the general election in November
  • N.C. House: at least 21 years old, a qualified North Carolina voter, resident of the district for at least one year before the general election in November
  • Judicial office: at least 21 years old, a qualified North Carolina voter, authorized to practice law in North Carolina
  • County offices: at least 21 years old, a registered voter of the county, eligible to vote for the office
  • Sheriff: at least 21 years old, a registered voter of the county, eligible to vote for the office, residency in the county for at least one year before the general election in November
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  • North Carolina Home Jan 25, 2010

    The Board of Elections site says that filing closes on Feb. 26.

  • North Carolina Home Jan 25, 2010

    Good article but bad timing. Too bad it went up on a Sunday night when everybody was watching football :(