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Filing in the Democratic or Republican 2020 Primary

In order to become the Republican or Democratic Party nominee for a particular office, you must file an application (PDF) for a place on the ballot with the county or state party chair, as appropriate (see chart). (Section 172.022, Texas Election Code). Candidates for federal office must file a federal application (PDF). The application must be filed between November 9, 2019 and by 6:00p.m.on December 9, 2019. (Section 172.023, Texas Election Code). The application for a place on the primary ballot must be accompanied by either a filing fee or a petition in lieu of filing fee (PDF) signed by a certain number of qualified voters. Certain judicial candidates in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant and Travis must file additional petitions (PDF). Certain Statewide judicial candidates must also file additional petitions using the Statewide Judicial Office on Primary Ballot petition form (PDF).

See Section 162.015, Texas Election Code for more details about how primary voting or candidacy affects (or does not affect) candidacy in the general election.

Democratic or Republican Party Nominee
Public Office Sought in 2020 File App. with Party Chair Filing Fee Nominating Petition in Lieu of Filing Fee
  State County   %Signatures c Number of Signatures h
United States Senator x - $5,000 - 5000
United States Representative x a - $3,125 2% 500
Railroad Commissioner x - $3,750 - 5000
Chief Justice & Justice, Supreme Court g x - $3,750 - 5000
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals g x - $3,750 - 5000
State Senator x a - $1,250 2% 500
State Representative x a - $750 2% 500
Member, State Board of Education x a - $300 2% 500
Chief Justice and Justice, Court of Appeals b x a - $2,500
$1,875 e
2% 500
District Judge b x a - $2,500
$1,500 f
2% 500
Criminal District Judge b x a - $2,500
$1,500 f
2% 500
Family District Judge b x a - $2,500
$1,500 f
2% 500
District Attorney x a - $1,250 2% 500
Criminal District Attorney x a - $1,250 2% 500
County Judge - x $1,250 /
$750 d
2% 500
Judge, County Court-at-Law b - x $2,500
$1,500 f
2% 500
Judge, County Criminal Court b - x $2,500
$1,500 f
2% 500
Judge, County Probate Court b - x $2,500 /
$1,500 f
2% 500
County Attorney  - x $1,250 /
$750d
2% 500
Sheriff - x $1,250 /
$750d
2% 500
Tax Assessor-Collector - x 1,250 /
$750d
2% 500
County Commissioner - x $1,250 /
$750d
2% 500
Constable - x $1,000 /
$375 d
2% 500
Justice of the Peace b - x $1,000 /
$375 d
2% 500
Source: Texas Election Code Section §172.022   §172.024 §172.025  
  1. File with county chair if district is comprised of only one county.
  2. Senate Bill 44 (2017) reinstituted the petition requirement for certain judicial candidates. For candidates running for Courts of Appeals in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 14th Districts and all candidates running for judicial offices in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant Counties, a 250-signature judicial petition is required in addition to the filing fee, or 750 signatures must be collected on the petition in lieu of filing fee.
  3. Percentage of all votes for all gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2018 general election. If number is less than 50, the required number of signatures is the lesser of (1) 50 or (2) 20% of all votes for all gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2018 general election.
  4. Pay higher fee if county has at least 200,000 inhabitants according to 2010 Census.
  5. Pay higher fee in Courts of Appeals Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 14. (Section 172.024(7), (8), Texas Election Code).
  6. Pay higher fee in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant Counties. (Sections 172.024(10), (12), Texas Election Code).
  7. Senate Bill 44 (2017) reinstituted the petition requirement for certain judicial candidates. A candidate for the office of chief justice or justice, supreme court, or presiding judge or judge, court of criminal appeals, who chooses to pay the filing fee, must also accompany the application and fee with a petition. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on the petition is 50 from each of the fourteen court of appeals districts, for a total requirement of 700 signatures.
  8. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on a candidate’s petition for statewide office is 5000. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on a candidate’s petition for district, county or precinct office is the lesser of (1) 500 or (2) 2% of the total vote received in the district, county or precinct, as applicable, by all gubernatorial candidates in the 2018 general election, subject to (c) above. Section 172.025, Texas Election Code).