Run for Office


Why Not YOU?

If you feel our government is not representing your values and how you think our government should be working on behalf of all of us, why not run for office yourself?
After all, the government IS run by those who show up! And if you ask yourself "Why me?", the answer is "Why not?" And if not you, then who?

Who Can Run?

Any law-abiding citizen over the age of 18 can run for office.
You don’t get picked by the party, you don’t have to take a test, you don’t have to have money. You just decide that you want to influence policy, decide what position interests you, and file to run. It’s as simple as that.

What are the elected positions in Ravalli County?

There are more elected positions in Ravalli County than most of us realize!

How to File

This is how it works. Depending on what position you decide to run for, you file either through:

There are different deadlines depending on what position you run for. Very local positions like school board and fire district usually have earlier deadlines than County Commissioner and the State Legislature.

How is the Party Involved?

If you have been involved with the party, you have a head start. But if you have not, and you want to run, contact us and we will help. We don’t tell you how to campaign. In a local race, that is entirely up to you. You are in control. Your campaign is yours to run.

The Primary Election

For County Commissioner and the State Legislature, the Primary Election is where members of the party weigh in on whether they want you to represent them.
The Ravalli County Democratic Central Committee is not involved in influencing the outcome and cannot endorse or preferentially help one primary candidate over another.

The General Election

Once you win the Primary, you are the candidate for the Party and are expected to represent the values of the party (described here).
We can help with fund-raising and volunteers. We can help raise the army of door knockers and sign makers to get your name out there. However, how you spend your time and money is up to you!

Managing Money

You are required to follow the laws concerning campaign finance, and the Office of the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices is very helpful. There are two chapters to your record keeping, one for the primary and one for the general. You are held accountable to the rules from the day you file until you close your campaign after the elections.

What is a Campaign?

That depends on you, but traditionally, it involves numerous ways to get people to know who you are and what you stand for and are where party volunteers come in handy:

  • Letters to the Editor
  • Yard signs, billboards, advertising
  • Websites and social media
  • Meets and Greets and Fundraising
  • Parades and Events
  • Debates and Radio Interviews
  • Attend local government hearings or make speeches and appearances at local organization meetings
  • Endorsements

Most Importantly

No matter how you decide to campaign, the most important things to have clear in your mind are:

  • Why do you want the job
  • Why should other people invest in you

Democracy is hard work and only works if everyone participates. WE NEED YOU! Interested? Find out which positions may suit you best here.