Candidate Statements

California law allows candidates running for a federal or state office to have a candidate statement included in the state Voter Information Guide, on the Secretary of State website, or in certain cases, in the county Voter Information Guide, depending on the office.

Some candidates must accept campaign finance spending limits in order to purchase space for a candidate statement, as outlined below.

For more information, please contact the Elections Division at (916) 657-2166 or by email at Candidate-Statements@sos.ca.gov.

Presidential Candidates

The Secretary of State provides the opportunity to all candidates running for President of the United States to submit a 250-word candidate statement for inclusion on the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election Voter Information Guide portion of the Secretary of State’s website. (Elections Code section 9084(k)). 

Presidential candidates may submit a 250-word candidate statement to be published on the Secretary of State website no later than December 27, 2019.

  • March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election Candidate Statement Guidelines (PDF)

United States House of Representatives Candidates

Candidates running for the United States House of Representatives may purchase space for a 250-word statement in the county Voter Information Guide of the county or counties in their jurisdiction.  The statement may not make any reference to any opponent of the candidate (Elections Code section 13307.5).  Candidate statements must be submitted to the appropriate county elections officials by December 6, 2019 (Elections Code section 13307 (a)(2)).

Legislative Candidates

State Senate and Assembly candidates, who choose to keep their campaign spending under specified dollar limits, may purchase space in the county Voter Information Guide for a 250-word candidate statement (Government Code section 85601(c)).  Candidate statements must be submitted to the appropriate county elections officials by December 6, 2019 (Elections Code section 13307(a)(2)).

Listed below are cost estimates provided by county elections officials of how much they plan to charge for legislative and congressional candidate statements in their county voter information guides.  Please note that these are estimates and are subject to change.

  • Cost Estimates for State Legislative and U.S. Congressional Candidate Statements (as of 11/15/2019) (PDF) | (XLS)

For additional information, please contact your county elections official.

Proposition 34 Candidate Statement Provisions

Proposition 34 established voluntary spending limits for candidates running for statewide office, the State Senate, and the State Assembly.  Candidates who choose to accept the spending limits are able to purchase space for a 250-word candidate statement in either the state Voter Information Guide or in the county Voter Information Guide, depending on the office.

Listed below is the Proposition 34 – March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Election Preliminary Legislative Candidates Form 501 Status Report.

  • March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary Preliminary Legislative Candidates Form 501 Status Report (as of November 8, 2019) (PDF)

To accept the spending limits, candidates running for statewide office or state Senate or state Assembly, must file a Candidate Statement of Intention (Form 501) with the Secretary of State's Political Reform Division indicating whether they intend to abide by the spending limits prior to submitting a candidate statement.

This chart identifies where a candidate can place a
statement and the Proposition 34 spending limits for that office (if applicable).
  Prop. 34 Voluntary
Expenditure Limit
(For elections held
on or after
January 1, 2017
 
Office250-word
Candidate Statement Location
Primary/Special ElectionGeneral/Special Runoff Election
President and
Vice President
of the United States
Secretary of
State Website
N/A N/A
United States Senate State Voter
Information Guide
N/A N/A
United States Representative County Voter
Information Guide
N/A N/A
Governor State Voter
Information Guide
$9,302,000 $15,503,000
Lieutenant Governor State Voter
Information Guide

$6,201,000

$9,302,000
Secretary of State State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Controller State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Treasurer State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Attorney General State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Insurance Commissioner State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Superintendent
of Public Instruction
State Voter
Information Guide
$6,201,000 $9,302,000
Member, State
Board of Equalization
State Voter
Information Guide
$1,550,000 $2,326,000
State Senator County Voter
Information Guide
$930,000 $1,395,000
Member of the State Assembly County Voter
Information Guide
$620,000 $1,085,000