CAL-ACCESS FAQs Section 1 Question 18

How do I find out who has indicated they are or may be a candidate for a particular elective state office and whether voluntary spending limits have been accepted or rejected?

Individuals must file a Form 501 (Candidate Intention Statement) on paper with the Secretary of State's office before soliciting or receiving any contributions with respect to running for an elective state office. (Government Code section 85200) To find out who has filed Form 501 (Candidate Intention Statement) for specified state offices and whether the candidate has accepted the voluntary spending limits:

  1. Go to the "Campaign Finance" page. (You may also reach this site from the Secretary of State's Home Page - by clicking on "Campaign Finance" under "Political Reform.")
  2. Click on Candidates & Elected Officials.
  3. Under "Choose a Listing," select "Who is Running for What State Office? (Candidate Statement of Intention)."
  4. Under "Choose an Election," click on the election in which you are interested. (The system will display by default the next election.) A list of candidates who have filed Form 501will be displayed.
  5. Click on the column heading to sort the data in that column. For example, suppose you want to know who has filed a Form 501 to run in a particular assembly district for a given year. Click on "Contest" in the column with that title. The data will be sorted by office/district.

Form 501 must be filed on paper. Online or electronic filing is not available. However, a filed Form 501 may be viewed without charge at the Secretary of State's office at 1500 11th Street, Room 495, Sacramento, California 95814. Copies may be purchased for ten cents per page.

Note that once an individual files a Form 501, the filing remains on the system even if the individual no longer wishes to run for that office, unless the individual requests in writing that the filing be withdrawn.