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8:14 PM Fri, Nov. 16th

Want to run for office? Here's how!

Mayor's position, three council members' spots open

KINGMAN - For those who think they can do a better job at Kingman governance than the mayor and three of the current Council members, now's the time to take the first step.

In March, Mayor John Salem's spot will be up for grabs along with the seats of Council members Keith Walker, Robin Gordon and Carole Young.

Those interested in attaining the spots need to speak to City Clerk Debbie Francis at the City Complex, 310 N. Fourth St.

She has candidate packets for people interested in running in March's primary election and May's general election. All one needs to do is pick up the packet and spend 5-10 minutes with Francis, so she can explain what's required and how the petition works.

In order to run for one of the four positions, you have to be 18 or older, a registered voter and a resident of Kingman for at least a year, Francis said.

The packets contain petitions and financial forms, but before you grab your packet and start collecting signatures a few things must be done first.

You need to either file a "statement of organization of political committee" or a "$500 threshold exemption statement," Francis said.

Basically, the statement of organization triggers requirements of financial reporting on the campaign trail while the exemption makes it so candidates don't need to report financial contributions and expenditures as long as they do not exceed $500. Francis said potential candidates can file for the exemption and then switch to the statement of organization once they reach $500, which is a common practice.

Once you've dealt with the paperwork, you're free to collect signatures. But you cannot collect just anyone's signature - petition entries must come from registered voters who live in Kingman.

Based on the city's last mayoral election, where a mere 1,363 people cast votes (Salem ran unopposed), potential candidates must collect no fewer than 68 signatures and no more than 136. No less than 5 percent and no more than 10 percent of the 1,363 votes cast in the last mayoral election is how the signature floor and ceiling is created, Francis said.

According to AZInews.com, Salem, Gordon and Walker intend to run for re-election while Young hasn't made an official decision.

The deadline to turn in your completed candidate packages is 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Francis said.