Want to Run for Seal Beach City Council? Here’s how

Three districts up for election in November

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This November, voters in three Seal Beach City Council districts will pick a representative. If you want to be one of the candidates for City Council on the ballot, the time is now to launch your campaign.

The seats up for election are in District One, which covers Old Town and Surfside Colony, District Three, which covers the Hill, Coves, Bridgeport and Heron Pointe neighborhoods and District Five, which represents Leisure World.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to run for local office.

What is required to run for Seal Beach City Council?

If you want to run to be a member of Seal Beach City Council you need to be a registered voter living in the City Council District you wish to represent. In order to be a registered voter, you need to be at least 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen, not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony and not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

First stop: City Clerk’s Office at Seal Beach City Hall

Once you have confirmed you are a registered voter in the City Council District you want to represent, you can begin the process of pulling paperwork to run for office. The City Clerk’s office at Seal Beach City Hall (211 Eighth Street) is where you pick up the paperwork. City Clerk Robin Roberts has compiled giant binders full of information for anyone interested in running.

“I would like to recommend that anyone considering running for City Council call our office to schedule an appointment,” Roberts wrote in a recent email. “While it is not required, I like to schedule an hour of uninterrupted time to make sure all candidates have the information they need regarding the nomination process.”

When do I start?

Papers can be obtained and turned in during the nomination period. This period starts this Monday, July 16, and runs until Friday, Aug. 10.

What paperwork is needed?

There are three forms associated with initiating a campaign. The first form, known as Form 501, is a Candidate Intention Statement. Form 501 must be filed during the nomination period and before “soliciting or receiving any contributions or before making expenditures from personal funds on behalf of candidacy,” according to the City Clerk’s office.

The second form, Form 410, deals with fundraising for a campaign. Filing Form 410 is required to establish a fundraising organization for the candidate and campaign if you want to raise more than $2,000. It can be filed as soon as the candidate starts raising money. A form should be filed with the City Clerk and California’s Secretary of State.

Form 700, known as the Statement of Economic Interests is filed after assuming office.

In addition to the forms, you will need to collect 20 valid signatures from registered voters in the district you are running in. There is also an optional 200-word candidate statement to complete. All paperwork must be turned in by August 10 to qualify for the November ballot.

How much does it cost?

There is a $25 fee for candidates filing paperwork at Seal Beach City Hall, but there is financial assistance available. There is also a $50 fee for filing Form 410 which is paid to California’s Secretary of State.

Do I have to pick a political party?

No. City Council elections are considered non-partisan races.

Background on Seal Beach Government

Seal Beach is a Charter city and operates under the City Council-City Manager form of government. The Seal Beach City Council has five members that represent five districts. Seal Beach’s mayor is selected annually from the council. The city manager is appointed by the City Council.

Incumbent Councilwoman Sandra-Massa Lavitt of District Five and incumbent Councilman and Mayor Mike Varipapa of District Three have both told The Sun they are running for re-election. District One Councilwoman Ellery Deaton cannot run again due to term limits.

For more information, check out the City of Seal Beach’s election information page at:

http://www.sealbeachca.gov/Government/Voter-Election-Information

Contact City Clerk Robin Roberts at rroberts@sealbeachca.gov.