A Summary of the Candidate Endorsement Process

Download complete version: Final 2011 Protocol for Endorsement


To be considered for endorsement:

Candidates for State or Local office must have filed a Form 501 with the local filing officer of the jurisdiction (i.e. City Clerk, County Clerk) indicating their intention to run for a specific office or run for re-election.

Candidates for Federal Office (U.S. House, Senate) must have filed a Statement of Candidacy (Form 2).

Statewide & Local Elected officials who have been endorsed in the past and have publicly announced their re-election efforts for the same office and filed Form 501 or Form 2, may request consideration of re-endorsement at any time within (15) months of the election date. A CAT may be formed at any point after that to consider re-endorsement.

Political races that may be considered for endorsement:

School Board and Special Districts within Southern Santa Barbara County and other races as identified.

U.S. Congress, State Senate, Assembly and County Supervisor. It may include Mayor and City Council Members, and candidates for countywide office .

Local (Southern Santa Barbara County) & Statewide Ballot Measures.

Candidate Assessment Team (CAT) process:

A Candidate Assessment Team (CAT) of 3 or 5 people will be formed to assist in determining SBWPC’s Endorsement in electoral races.

All CAT members serving will be impartial in their views of each candidate and will make decisions about the electoral race in the best interest of the SBWPC and its mission.  All CAT members will comply with the current SBWPC Conflict of Interest policies, and shall not have endorsed a candidate, volunteered for, or given money to the campaign, nor served as a paid staff member or consultant to the campaign.

The leader of the CAT will contact all candidates who have filed a Declaration of Intent (Form 501) or Statement of Candidacy (Form 2) for the specific office and inform them about the SBWPC, its website, the endorsement process, and offer the initial questionnaire. The CAT will make every effort to provide the initial questionnaire at least 5 days prior to the deadline for submittal. The CAT leader shall document at least 3 attempts to contact a non-responsive candidate.

CAT conducts in-person interviews with all the candidates seeking the SBWPC’s Endorsement as indicated by return of the initial questionnaire.

The CAT discusses the candidates’ responses to the in-person interview questions and initial questionnaire. The CAT compiles a written report on the outcome of the interviews, a recommendation for or against Endorsement, and a recommendation for campaign funding if a candidate is endorsed.

Voting process for candidate endorsements:

After the CAT team completes its review of candidates, the SBWPC Board holds a Noticed Endorsement Meeting for members.
–  The CAT leader invites each interviewed candidate to attend the Noticed Endorsement Meeting.
–  A report of the CAT team’s findings and recommendations for endorsement are presented.
–  The Board votes on whether or not to endorse candidate(s) for an electoral race. It determines if any follow up is needed with the candidate chosen for endorsement.
–  In order to be endorsed, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds (2/3) of the votes from eligible Board members in attendance at the Noticed Endorsement Meeting.
–  Eligible members of the Board vote on any funding considerations for the endorsed candidate’s electoral race.
–  All candidates are informed about the outcome of the Membership Endorsement meeting within 24 hours of the vote of the Board of the SBWPC.