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10 Steps to Run for City Attorney in San Diego

2 min read
San Diego
Good Party Politics Team · Nov 2, 2023

Embarking on a campaign for City Attorney is a significant move towards effecting tangible change within your locality. But what exactly does it take to campaign for office? This guide will escort you through the journey of campaigning for City Attorney in San Diego, from the initial campaign preparations to the final push for votes.

Step #1: Understand the Role of City Attorney 

The City Attorney is tasked with representing the city in legal proceedings, offering legal advice to city officials, crafting laws and legal documents, prosecuting violations of city ordinances, and providing a comprehensive range of legal services to city departments, boards, and agencies. Here are some quick facts about the role of City Attorney:

  • The City Attorney is a city-level elected official.

  • The City Attorney holds a nonpartisan elected position.

  • Serving as City Attorney is considered a part-time job.

Grasping these fundamental aspects of the role is an excellent initial step in determining if you're prepared to campaign for office. Further insights into the duties of a City Attorney can be gained by examining the work of current and former officeholders. Reflect on these questions:

  • What have been the primary focuses of these local leaders?

  • How have they allocated their time while in office?

  • What contributions or changes have they brought about in the community?

Pondering such questions will assist you in visualizing yourself in their position and shaping your political aspirations.

Step #2: Meet the Qualifications to Run for City Attorney 

It may seem straightforward, but confirming that you meet all the criteria to campaign for City Attorney is crucial before announcing your candidacy. The main requirements for running for City Attorney in San Diego are:

  • You must have been a registered voter in the district you wish to represent for at least 30 days before filing your nomination papers.

  • You must reside and be registered to vote in that district when you assume office.

Step #3: Make an Election Timeline 

An essential early step is to familiarize yourself with the election timeline for City Attorney. Basic facts to start with include:

  • The City Attorney is up for election on November 5, 2024, with a primary on March 5, 2024.

  • The City Attorney is elected every four years.

  • The mayor’s office will also be up for election on November 5, 2024.

For more detailed information, visit your local government's website or reach out to the local election board.


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Step #4: Listen to Your Community in San Diego 

Campaigning is akin to academic research; you wouldn't commence writing a paper without first conducting research, just as you wouldn't build your campaign strategy without understanding your community. Researching and engaging with your community provides an edge during the campaign and once in office.

Consider these questions about San Diego:

  • What is the demographic makeup of your community?

  • What is San Diego's voting history?

  • What are the most pressing issues in San Diego?

If you need assistance at this stage, Good Party’s AI Campaign Manager, with its detailed voter files, can help identify the key issues for your campaign.

Step #5: Create a Campaign Plan to Run for City Attorney 

After getting to know your voters, it's time to draft your campaign strategy. This includes forming a campaign team and outlining your main voter outreach tactics. The AI Campaign Manager offers advice for assembling a team and initiating your voter outreach.

Step #6: Complete All Filing Requirements 

To run for City Attorney, you may need to gather a certain number of signatures. Here's what to look out for:

  • The filing fee is $500. 

  • The petition signature requirement is 200 (or 2200 to waive the filing fee).

  • Filing office address: 5600 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123

  • Filing office phone number: 858-505-7260

  • Candidate paperwork submission: Submit paperwork to the county registrar of voters' office.

You'll also need to manage your campaign finances, and Good Party’s AI Campaign Manager can guide you through campaign finance setup.

Step #7: Develop Strong Messaging for Your Campaign for City Attorney 

Crafting compelling campaign messages is vital. It helps voters understand who you are, your motivations for running, and your goals. Good Party’s AI Campaign Manager can assist in creating effective messaging and campaign materials.

Step #8: Build a Strong Online Presence 

In today's digital age, a robust online presence is crucial, as voters will often look for information about your campaign on the internet. Establishing a campaign website, updating social media, and attracting media attention are key strategies for voter engagement.

Step #9: Engage in Voter Outreach and Volunteer Mobilization 

Effective voter outreach ensures that the electorate is aware of your candidacy and your platform. Mobilizing volunteers can amplify your reach and bolster campaign awareness. Good Party certified candidates can tap into a national volunteer network for support.

Step #10: Get Out the Vote Ahead of Election Day

Maximizing voter turnout is essential. Encouraging supporters to vote, especially those who are new to the process, is a critical component of a successful campaign.

Bonus: Step #11: Remember Why You’re Running for City Attorney 

Revisiting your initial motivation for running can reignite your campaign's momentum. Whether it's representing your community, advocating for important issues, offering voters more choices, or simply seeking an opportunity for personal development, running for City Attorney is a meaningful way to contribute to your community and democracy.

Ready to run for City Attorney? Good Party stands ready to support you with free tools and assistance throughout your campaign journey. Reach out to learn how we can help accelerate your campaign for City Attorney.

To become part of Good Party's growing community and connect with other independent candidates, you can also join Good Party's Discord server.

Photo by Lucas Davies on Unsplash


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How to Run for Office
San Diego
By Good Party Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.