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Independent Candidates

You may have your name placed on the general election ballot as an independent candidate if you are not affiliated with a political party. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 1.005(9). If you vote in a party’s primary elections or participate in a party’s conventions, you thereby affiliate with the party. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 142.008, 162.003, 162.007. File a Declaration of Intent to Run as an Independent Candidate (PDF) between November 14, 2015 and 6:00 p.m. on December 14, 2015 (Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.002(b)(2)), with the county judge (county or precinct offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices). Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.005. After the primary elections, collect signatures (PDF) from registered voters, who support your application for a place on the general election ballot (PDF). Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.009. The signers must be registered voters who have not participated in the general primary election or the runoff primary election of a party that has nominated, at either election, a candidate for the office you seek. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.009. File the application, along with petition, by 5:00 p.m. on June 23, 2016, with the county judge (county or precinct offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices). Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 142.005, 142.006. Contact the Secretary of State’s office concerning the number of signatures required.

Independent (Nonpartisan) Candidate
Public Office Sought in 2016 File Declaration of Intent and Application with Nominating Petition  
Sec of State County Judge % Signatures a Maximum Number of Signature b
United States Representative x - 5% 500
Railroad Commissioner x - 1% -
Justice, Supreme Court x - 1% -
Presiding Judge and Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals x - 1% -
State Senator x - 5% 500
State Representative x - 5% 500
Member, State Board of Education x - 5% 500
Chief Justice and Justice, Court of Appeals x - 5% 500
District Judge x - 5% 500
Criminal District Judge x - 5% 500
District Attorney x - 5% 500
Judge, County Court-at-Law - x 5% 500
Judge, County Criminal Court - x 5% 500
Judge, County Probate Court - x 5% 500

County Attorney

- x 5% 500
Sheriff - x 5% 500

Tax Assessor-Collector

- x 5% 500

County Commissioner

- x 5% 500

Constable

- x 5% 500

Justice of the Peace

- x 5% 500

Source: Texas Election Code Section

§142.002 &  §142.005 §142.007
  1. Percentage of all votes for all gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2014 general election. If number is less than 25, a larger percentage may be required. Consult Secretary of State for further information. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.007.
  2. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on candidate’s petition for statewide office is 1% of the total vote received by all gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 general election. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on candidate’s petition for district, county, or precinct office is the lesser of (1) 500, or (2) 5% of the total vote received in the district, county, or precinct, as applicable, by all gubernatorial candidates in the 2014 general election, subject to (a) immediately above. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 142.007.