Candidate materials





Becoming a candidate






All candidates for state or federal offices must file paperwork with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

All candidates for Mercer County offices must file paperwork with the Mercer County Clerk.

Paperwork may include:

  • Pre-candidacy Registration
  • Candidate Certificate of Announcement
  • Candidate Name Pronunciation Form
  • Candidate Statement of Withdrawal

View all candidate filing forms on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

It is your fundamental right to run for office; however, some limitations do exist. All candidates for Mercer County offices must be qualified voters and some offices have additional qualifications. For more information, contact the West Virginia Association of Counties at (304) 346-0591.

Learn more about campaign requirements on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

Write-in candidates

You may file as an official write-in candidate. To be an official write-in candidate, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the office.

  • Write-in candidates are not listed on the ballot; rather, a list of official write-in candidates is posted at each polling place during early voting and on Election Day. 
  • Only votes for the official write-in candidates are counted.
  • Write-in candidates are not required to pay a filing fee or collect signatures.

Learn more about the write-in process on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

Raising and spending money





Who must file campaign finance reports? 

  • Pre-candidates for future offices
  • All existing Candidate Committees
  • Political Action Committees
  • Political Party Executive Committees
  • Legislative Caucus Committees
  • Inaugural Committees

 What must be reported? 

  • Monetary contributions (Money)
  • In-Kind contributions (Non-cash contributions of value)
  • Loans received
  • Expenditures
  • Unpaid bills
  • Transactions due to a fund-raising event 
  • All other income (Returned checks or contributions, interest on bank accounts, etc.)
  • Uses of excess funds

Where to file the reports?

  • With the West Virginia Secretary of State if you are a candidate for a federal, statewide, legislative, or an office encompassing more than one county.
  • With the Mercer County Clerk if you are a candidate for an office entirely within Mercer county (not including legislative candidates).
  • With the Municipal Recorder if you are a candidate running for city office.

View all campaign finance forms on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

When to file the reports?

View all 2018 campaign finance deadlines on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

Other resources