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2:27 PM Thu, Nov. 15th

Candidates begin runs by forming campaign committees

Candidates who plan to vie for public office in the September 2004 primary election have begun to file papers establishing campaign committees.

"In reality it is an official filing for candidacy," Mohave County Elections Department director Allen Tempert said.

"It serves as the starting point of a person's campaign."

Candidates can file a statement of organization for the next election any time after the previous election, Tempert said.

Although the primaries are not until September of next year, two candidates have formed campaign committees.

Mohave County Recorder Joan McCall filed a statement of organization Wednesday and Ron Nicholson filed organization papers Friday.

McCall is seeking re-election.

Nicholson is seeking the Mohave County Assessor's position held by Bev Payne.

Payne, who has been county assessor since 1992, has announced plans to retire when her term expires next year.

Forming a committee and filing the statement of organization also are the first steps in keeping track of campaign finances, Tempert said.

The statement of organization form requires the name of the committee and the names of the chairman and treasurer.

A candidate can be the chairman and treasurer of his or her own campaign committee.

"When they file a statement of organization, it is their official acknowledgement of candidacy," Tempert said.

Candidates cannot circulate petitions for placement on the primary ballot until they file statements of organization.

The next primary election will be held Sept.

9, 2004, with the general election scheduled for Nov.

2.

Candidates must file petitions and signatures no earlier than 120 days and no later than 90 days prior to the primary ballot (between May 10, 2004, and June 9, 2004.