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Close this message COVID-19 - As recommended precautions continue to increase for COVID-19, the James E. Rudder Building will be closed to visitors and customers beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The Office of the Secretary of State is committed to continuing to provide services to ensure business and public filings remain available 24/7 through our online business service, SOSDirect or use the new SOSUpload. Thank you in advance for your patience during this difficult time. Information on Testing Sites is now available.

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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. Section 1.005(9) Texas Election Code. If you vote in a party’s primary elections or participate in a party’s conventions, you thereby affiliate with the party. (Sections 142.008, 162.003, 162.007, Texas Election Code). File a Declaration of Intent to Run as an Independent Candidate (PDF) between November 9, 2019 and 6:00 p.m. on December 9, 2019 (Sections 142.002(b)(2), Texas Election Code), with the county judge (county or precinct offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices) (Section 142.005, Texas Election Code). After the primary elections (or after the primary runoff election, if the office you are seeking is involved in a primary runoff election), collect signatures (PDF)from registered voters, who support your application for a place on the general election ballot (PDF). Section 142.009, Texas Election Code. 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. Section 142.009, Texas Election Code. File the application, along with petition, by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, 2020, with the county judge (county or precinct offices) or the Secretary of State (district and state offices). Sections 142.005, 142.006,Texas Election Code. NOTE: This deadline was modified as a result of the Governor’s postponement of the primary runoff election to July 14, 2020.

Contact the Secretary of State’s office concerning the number of signatures required.

Independent (Nonpartisan) Candidate
Public Office Sought in 2020 File Declaration of Intent and Application with Nominating Petition  
  Sec of State County Judge % Signatures a Maximum Number of Signature b
United States Senator

x

-

1%

-

United States Representative

x

-

5%

500

Governor

x

-

1%

-

Lieutenant Governor

x

-

1%

-

Attorney General

x

-

1%

-

Comptroller of Public Accounts

x

-

1%

-

Commissioner of General Land Office

x

-

1%

-

Commissioner of Agriculture

x

-

1%

-

Railroad Commissioner

x

-

1%

-

Chief Justice and Justice, Supreme Court

x

-

1%

-

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

Family District Judge

x

-

5%

500

District Attorney

x

-

5%

500

Criminal District Attorney

x

-

5%

500

County Judge

-

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

Justice of the Peace

-

x

5%

500

Constable

-

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 2018 general election. If number is less than 25, the required number of signatures is the lesser of (1) 25 or (2) 10% of all votes for all gubernatorial candidates cast in the applicable territory in the 2018 general election. For candidates elected statewide, the one percent figure for the 2018 gubernatorial election is 83,435
  2. The minimum number of signatures that must appear on a candidate’s petition for statewide office is 1% of the total vote received by all gubernatorial candidates in the 2018 general election. 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) 5% of the total vote received in the district, county or precinct, as applicable, by all gubernatorial candidates in the 2018 general election, subject to (a) immediately above. Section 142.007, Texas Election Code.