Run For City Office

image with pictures making four quadrants and a circle image in the center. quadrant pictures are of st. johns bridge, portland deer sign, portlandia statue, and dragon boats in Willamette River. circle image includes two cartoon candidates facing each other behind podiums.
On this page, you will find resources, instructions, and information on the City's elected offices and how to run for office.
On this page

Elected City Offices

The City has six nonpartisan elected offices:

OfficeIncumbentTerm Expires
MayorMayor Ted WheelerDecember 2024
Commissioner Position No. 1Commissioner Carmen RubioDecember 2024
Commissioner Position No. 2Commissioner Dan RyanDecember 2022
Commissioner Position No. 3Commissioner Jo Ann HardestyDecember 2022
Commissioner Position No. 4Commissioner Mingus MappsDecember 2024
City AuditorAuditor Mary Hull CaballeroDecember 2022

Next City Election and Candidate Filing Dates

Primary Nomination: May 17, 2022
General Election: November 8, 2022

Candidate Filing Window: September 9, 2021 through March 8, 2022

Offices on the Ballot: 

  • Commissioner Position No. 2
  • Commissioner Position No. 3
  • City Auditor

Terms, Voting, and Election Timing

All City elected officials serve four-year terms and are elected at-large. All candidates for an office appear on the May Primary ballot. A candidate is elected if they receive a majority of votes. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes advance to the November General Election ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes in November is then elected.

  • The Mayor and Commissioners No. 1 and 4 are elected during presidential elections.
  • The Auditor and Commissioners No. 2 and 3 are elected during midterm elections.

How to File to Run for Office

1. Review Qualifications to Run for Office

To run for office, you must be all of the following:

  1. U.S. citizen
  2. Oregon resident
  3. Resident of Portland (or reside in an area that has been incorporated by the City) for at least one year prior to the May Primary Election
  4. Registered voter
  5. For Auditor candidates only, you must also be one of the following: 
    • Certified Public Accountant
    • Certified Internal Auditor
    • Certified Management Accountant

For important and detailed information on the steps and requirements to run as a candidate for City office, please be sure to read the Candidate Filing Packet.

2. Review Campaign Finance Requirements

3. Gather Materials Needed for Filing

For the Candidate Filing Application, you will need to provide specific information, including the following:

  • Occupational Background
  • Educational Background
  • Prior Government Experience
  • Online Payment Method for those filing by Declaration and Fee: credit/debit cards and electronic checks are accepted online 

4. Choose Your Filing Option

Candidates have two available options to file for candidacy. As of December 10, 2021, candidates filing under either option are eligible to apply to participate in the Small Donor Elections Program (formerly Open and Accountable Elections Program or OAE). The filing options are:

  1. Filing by Declaration and Fee requires submitting a Candidate Filing Application along with a required filing fee of $50 for mayoral candidates or $30 for all other candidates.
  2. Filing by Declaration and Nominating Petition (No Fee) requires submitting a Candidate Filing Application, submitting a Signature Sheet for Nominating Petition Form for approval, collecting 100 valid signatures of registered voters in Portland, and submitting collected signatures to the City Elections Office for verification along with a Petition Submission Form.

→ Option One: Declaration and Fee

Select one:

Filing fee:

  • $30 for Commissioner and Auditor Candidates
  • $50 for Mayoral Candidates

Payment options:

  • Pay the Filing Fee Online 
    • (link also included in the Online Candidate Filing Application)
  • Make an appointment to pay the fee In person
  • Make out a check to "City of Portland" and mail to:
    City Elections Office
    1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 130 
    Portland, OR 97204

→ Option Two: Declaration and Nominating Petition (No Fee)

Select one:

► Important Information About the Signature Sheet Form (SEL 121 Form):

  1. Leave the "Petition ID" space blank. The City Elections Office will provide a Petition ID for you.
  2. DO NOT circulate sheets for signature until your submitted Signature Sheet for Nominating Petition Form (SEL 121 Form) has been approved in writing for circulation. 
  3. If you are submitting your Candidate Filing Application through the online portal, the portal provides a place where you can upload the signature sheet form for approval.
  4. If you are submitting your Candidate Filing Application using a paper application, be sure to attach your signature sheet form for approval.
  5. Once you have collected sufficient signatures on your pre-approved signature sheet form, you must submit the completed signature sheets with original signatures in person for verification. Signature sheets must also be submitted with a Petition Submission Form (SEL 338 Form). Please be sure to notify the City Elections Officeof when you plan to submit your signature sheets.
  6. For more information on qualifying signature sheets and deadlines, see the Candidate Filing Packet.

5. Check to See If You Need Any Additional Forms

Check the Candidate Filing Packet to see which additional forms you may need. Some commonly used forms:

6. Submit Candidate Filing Forms by Deadline

Candidate filing window opens: September 9, 2021
Candidate filing window closes: March 8, 2022

Ways to Submit Filing Forms:

Candidate Filing Packet

Candidate Filing Applications

PDF Candidate Filing Application (AUD 120 Form)

Online Candidate Filing Application

Write-in Candidates

Voters have the option to write in the name of a candidate instead of voting for a candidate whose name is printed on the ballot. Write-in candidates do not file any forms to run for office. For write-in candidates, the following still applies:


City Elections

City Elections Office


News and notices