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Running for a Local Office

Requirements for local offices (municipalities, school districts, other districts) in Texas vary according to the political subdivision. Therefore, you must contact the political subdivision where you are interested in running for office for qualification requirements, filing periods and other relevant information. At a minimum, you will be required to file an application for place on the ballot with your political subdivision.

For general information regarding local elections, please see our outlines for:

Municipal Elections

In a city election, an application for place on the ballot (PDF) must be filed with the city secretary. In a special election held by a city, an application for a place on the special election ballot (PDF) must be filed with the city secretary.

Some municipalities may require their candidates to file a petition with a certain number of signatures along with an application for place on the ballot (PDF).

School District Elections

Current state law requires a candidate for trustee of an independent school district to be a qualified voter by the time required by Election Code Section 141.001. An application for place on the ballot (PDF) must be filed with the secretary of the school district board. In a special election held by a school district, an application for a place on the special election ballot (PDF) must be filed with the secretary of the school district board. This duty is typically delegated to someone in the school district office.

NOTE:  We reviewed designing a new form just for school districts in order to better reflect the additional felony rules at Education Code Section 11.066.  However, we currently lack statutory authority for a separate ISD form. You can educate candidates about the requirement in your web posting for qualifications.  See Advisory No.2019-19 - NEW LAW: Web Posting Requirements for Political Subdivisions - House Bill 305, House Bill 440, Senate Bill 902, House Bill 933, House Bill 1850, and House Bill 2640 for details.

Other District Elections

For other district elections (i.e. water districts, hospital districts, etc.) an application for place on the ballot (PDF) must be filed with the secretary of the district board. If the entity is authorized to hold a special election, an application for a place on the special election ballot (PDF) must be filed with the secretary of the district board.