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How to Run for City Clerk in 2024

3 min read
LA City Hall
Good Party Politics Team · Jan 10, 2024

City clerks are essential civil servants who work in towns and cities of many sizes. Their work varies based on the municipality's size and the local government's structure, but much of their job focuses on keeping the local government operational. While they're normally responsible for the daily operations of local government, city clerks might also handle concerns like candidate eligibility, campaign finance forms, voting day changes, and determining if election results meet the criteria for official certification of the election. 

Understanding the Role of City Clerk

What does a city clerk do? City clerks perform many duties in various areas of local government. If you want to run for city clerk in 2024, you should know that you might handle accounting, public relations, administration, office management, or customer service as part of the job. You might work in records management and handle public records, such as the meeting minutes of city council meetings. Candidates with a strong financial background might even assist with the development and execution of the annual city budget. In general, a clerk can wear many hats while working in city administration. 

To become a city clerk, you might also be appointed rather than win through local elections. That means you might be able to skip the election details many candidates have to deal with, such as absentee voting and polling locations. Still, any good city clerk campaign guide will tell you that even appointees might need to follow certain local political campaign steps, such as being mindful of filing deadlines for city clerk eligibility requirements.

Term Length and Variations Across Locations

The specific details about the role and appointment of each city clerk vary from one municipality to the next. For instance, local elections might elect candidates through a combination of absentee voting and polling locations, but other municipalities may appoint a clerk after an election happens. Most terms in office for city clerks are two- or four-year periods.

Even if someone working in city administration only has to deal with local politics, they can still influence election results at higher levels of government. Local governments can impact higher levels of politics, as many government and political movements happen from the ground up. People from third parties and independent candidates can take advantage of the best local political campaign steps to get started in politics, especially if they use Good Party’s free AI campaign tools for running for office.


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Clerk positions in government date back thousands of years across many continents. The role is often thought of as a records management or public records position. However, specific duties vary with each municipality. 

If you run for city clerk in 2024, you should pay attention to the meeting minutes of your local city council meetings. These often involve local city clerks who won elections or were appointed following municipal elections. You can also find out what kind of financial background your local clerk is expected to have by paying attention to the annual city budget or accessing the local transparency portal via iCompass software to see how well the current city clerk serves your community.

Eligibility Requirements for Running as City Clerk

In most cases, before you can run for city clerk, you need to be a resident of the community you intend to serve in, and a certain number of years of citizenship may be required for eligibility.

Eligibility requirements in local elections might not specify a particular level of education or required skills, but highlighting them can be a great step for your campaign when you run for city clerk in 2024. A bachelor's degree is an effective educational background, particularly if you are skilled in business administration or public service. Common helpful skills include accounting, information technology, customer service, time management, and communications.

As you prepare to launch your campaign for city clerk, you’ll also need to stay aware of the filing deadline, by which you’ll need to officially file for candidacy. You should also stay aware of your local election timeline, campaign finance requirements, and any other guidelines for candidates campaigning in your area.

Navigating Filing Deadlines and Requirements

If clerk positions are appointed in your local government, you likely need personal connections with the officials handling such matters. Otherwise, you need to win an election. Even if you've participated before as a voter, there might be voting day changes and campaign finance forms that you need to adhere to. Good Party has great resources you can use to find your way to the certification of election winners, including your name.

Pay attention to media planning in local elections for four crucial dates. The first is the date to file your candidacy for office, and the second is the official dropout date if you withdraw from the contest. Third, determine when the primary date is, and if that applies to your local elections. Fourth and finally, know when election day will conclude the contest.

Steps to Start Your Local Political Campaign

Any local political campaign starts with research. Find out whether or not you're qualified to run for any municipal office. See which ones suit you. See if you even need to run, or whether you instead need to hunt for an appointment. If aiming to run for election and win, look for voter segments your candidacy might appeal to. It's essential to conduct detailed research and analysis. Understand the size of the voter population in your community and determine the number of votes required for a successful campaign. This becomes the ultimate target for your outreach efforts. You’ll also want to assess how many voters in your area are registered as independent voters or with various political parties.

Securing these votes involves canvassing, a critical aspect of your campaign. However, it's important to note that the number of votes you canvass should significantly exceed the turnout rate of the last comparable election day. Remember that voter turnout can often be quite low in local elections, so while you should seek to energize and empower as many voters as possible, keep in mind that not every voter who expresses support during campaign season will end up turning out to the polls.

Identifying your voter segments is also crucial for a successful political campaign. Recognize your strengths as a candidate and tailor your approach accordingly. Additionally, understanding your opponents' positions and value propositions is essential for presenting a compelling counterpoint. 

A city clerk campaign guide can provide a blueprint for your quest to attain local political office. However, it won't spare you from finding and crunching some numbers. You need to know how many voters your community has and figure out how many votes are necessary for you to win. This is the finish line your entire outreach needs to aim for.

Leverage the AI Campaign Manager for Electoral Success

Want to run for city clerk and make a difference in your community, but don’t want to cave to the Republicans or Democrats? If you can answer “yes” to that question, Good Party is the perfect place for you to find free resources and support for your campaign for city clerk.

Independent and third-party candidates need as much back-up as possible as they navigate the world of political campaigning, and Good Party is here to fill that gap. Good Party offers free AI campaign tools and resources, such as free candidate training through Good Party Academy. Whether you’re in the early planning stages of your campaign or already on the ground getting the word out about your run for office, we have resources ready to propel your campaign forward. Get started with Good Party’s free AI campaign tools right away!

Photo by Michael Beener on Unsplash


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Take advantage of free AI tools to create compelling campaign materials
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How to Run for Office
LA City Hall
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.