Every four years community members are elected to seats on the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee—which serves as the “steering committee” for the party. All 22 seats are open, representing each supervisorial district. 1st district (5 seats); 2nd district (5 seats); 3rd district (5 seats); 4th district (2 seats); 5th district (5 seats). The number of seats in each district was determined by state law in relation to voter turnout in the last general election.To run for one of these seats, you will need take out nomination papers at the county Elections Office and gather 20 signatures.
The SCCDCC (Democratic Party of Santa Cruz County or the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee) will hold its membership election on the 2016 Presidential Primary Election ballot on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. It will be conducted by the Santa Cruz County Clerk.
SCCDCC is the official governing body of the Democratic Party in Santa Cruz County, representing over 75,000 Democrats throughout the county.
Candidate filing period for the SCCDCC election began Monday, January 4, 2016 and ends on Friday, March 11, 2015, at 5:00 PM. Democrats in each Supervisorial District will elect from 2 to 5 members to the SCCDCC. Any registered Democrat who wishes to run for an elected seat on the central committee may do so.
In order to run to be a member of SCCDCC, you must:
– Be a registered Democrat at the time nomination papers are issued;
– Be a resident of the Supervisorial District in which you are running and be registered to vote in that district;
– Obtain nomination papers at the Office of the Santa Cruz County Clerk: 700 Ocean St. Santa Cruz;
– Collect 20 nomination signatures from Democrats registered in your Supervisorial District; and
– File your nomination papers and signatures by Friday, March 11, 2015, at 5:00 PM at the Office of the Santa Cruz County Clerk: 700 Ocean St. Santa Cruz
Click here to view the full Candidate Guide from the county Elections Office.
If you have any questions regarding the Democratic Party of Santa Cruz County, please call us at (831) 427-2516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of this information is summarized from the Santa Cruz County Candidate Guide with some additional notes. For more detailed instructions, see the Candidate Guide. In any circumstance where this information differs from the Candidate Guide or from instructions from the Elections Office, the Candidate Guide will supersede these instructions and the instructions from the Elections (Registrar’s) Office will supersede all others.
Filing Period: January 4 to March 11
Number of Seats (overall: 22)
District 1: 5 seats
District 2: 5 seats
District 3: 5 seats
District 4: 2 seats
District 5: 5 seats
Term of Office: 4 years
Term Begins: July 2016
Filing Packet (AKA “Papers”)
Declaration of Candidacy: The Declaration of Candidacy is an official document in which the candidate indicates how his/her name and ballot designation is to appear on the ballot. The candidate declares that he/she meets the qualifications for the office sought, and that if nominated, the candidate will accept the nomination and not withdraw.
Ballot Designation (wording is strict and must be approved by Registrar’s office): The ballot designation is the word or group of words that will appear on the ballot under the candidate’s name, designating the candidate’s principal profession, vocation, or occupation. Ballot designations may be rejected if they do not comply with the rules set by the California Election Code 13107. The candidate will be notified by phone or by registered or certified mail, with a return receipt, addressed to mailing address appearing on the candidate’s ballot designation worksheet. If an alternative designation is not provided within the time allowed, no designation will appear on the ballot. Guidelines and examples are provided
Attachment A of the Candidate Guide.
Nomination Petitions (for nomination signatures): Signers of nomination petitions must be registered voters and reside in the district. You may have others assist you in the circulation of your petitions. Circulators are appointed by candidates and must be voters in the district in which the candidate is to be voted on. Candidates may circulate and sign his/her own nomination petitions. Registered voters in the district in which the candidate to be voted on are eligible to sign the petition. Signers may only sign nomination petitions for as many candidates are there are positions (seats) to be filled for the district. Petitions are validated by the Registrar’s office and are validated in the order of arrival. The signatures of all signers on nomination petitions verified generally within 24-48 hours. Candidates will be notified immediately after signatures have been checked.
Campaign Finance Disclosure: When the candidate receives nomination papers, he/she will receive an informational manual prepared by the FPPC and the appropriate forms that give specific information. Generally, the form is required if the candidate plans to raise or has raised over $2,000 (increased from $1,000 effective 1/1/2016). Be sure you read and understand these requirements in full.
Code of Fair Campaign Practices (optional): By subscribing to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices, a candidate vows to follow the principles of decency, honesty, and fair play. Subscription to the code is optional. Completed forms are to be filed with the Registrar of Voters, and shall be retained for public inspection until 30 days after the election.
Candidate Statement: Candidate Statements may not be filed by candidates for central committee.
Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700): Form 700 is not required to be filed by candidates running for central committee.
Why do some Supervisorial Districts have more elected members on the central committee than others?
The central committee currently allots members according to a formula found in the California Elections Code Section 7200. Essentially, the number of seats represents the percentage of voters in the Supervisorial District that voted for the Democratic nominee for Governor in the previous gubernatorial election. The number of members are thus based on the number of people in the district that voted for Governor Jerry Brown in the 2014 election.
What happens if not enough people file in a district? For example, if my district has 4 available seats, what if 4 or fewer people file?
If the number of people who file for the seats is equal to or less than the number of seats available in a district, then those people are considered approved by acclimation and no election will be held on the public ballot (their names will not appear on the ballot, they will be automatically elected). The central committee will then vote to fill any vacant seats, should the number of seats filled by acclimation be fewer than the number of seats available in the district.
Okay, so could you give me examples based on what happened in the last central committee election?
In 2012, there was only one competitive race on the ballots, for District 3. No elections appeared on the ballot for Districts 1, 2, 4, and 5.
What happens if someone wins the election but for some reason is not able to take office? Will the seat be offered to the next highest vote getter?
Not automatically, no. The seat will be declared vacant and the central committee will vote to fill the seat.
May I run for another race on the ballot?
Yes. Running for another elected position does not preclude running for central committee.
Should I get more than 20 nomination signatures?
Generally speaking, yes. You are required to submit 20 valid signatures. If the Registrar’s Office invalidates any of your nomination signatures for any reason (i.e., they signed too many nomination papers, their signature didn’t match the records, the address was listed wrong, a circulator didn’t live in your district, or a circulator filled out the form wrong so an entire page was invalidated, etc), you want to make sure that you have enough additional signatures to make up for any that were invalidated. The Chair and the central committee will not suggest the number of signatures you should submit. That is your determination to make based on the advice given.
Should I use a “circulator” to help me get the total number of signatures I need?
While it is certainly allowed, it’s generally not necessary to engage circulators because you should be able to get the requisite number of signatures yourself. Circulators are generally used for other elected seats that require a lot more signatures.
How can I be sure to get the right or “best” ballot designation? How can I make sure that my ballot designation will be valid or accepted?
Before you even go to the Elections Office, get advice from others who have gone through the process before. And don’t be afraid to ask the people at the Elections Office for advice. They have done this many times before and are very familiar with acceptable usage for ballot designations. Our current chair notes, for example, that the Elections Office reviewed his ballot designation during the 2012 election while he was standing there and had him make the appropriate corrections to bring it into compliance with the guidelines before he officially submitted the paperwork, so you may be able to get feedback if there isn’t a large line at the Elections Office (but don’t count on it).
Will I be able to appear on the ballot if I don’t get all my documents submitted by March 11?
No. There are no makeups or do-overs. March 11 is the hard deadline for submitting all the required documents in order to appear on the ballot or to be automatically approved if not enough people complete the filing for your district.
Are there other ways to get involved with the SCCDCC if I do not get elected?
Yes! Absolutely. We have many committees and each elected member and Ex-Officio member is permitted to have an alternate. We would love to have you!