Frequently asked questions for new candidates. These questions and answers are intended to help new candidates get started off on the right foot and to help existing candidates find the information and resources they need.


What starts the whole process?

Becoming a candidate.  According to the disclosure law, you become a candidate when you do one of these things: accept a contribution or spend money for your campaign; reserve space or purchase advertising to promote your candidacy; authorize someone else to do any of these activities for you; state publicly that you are seeking office; or file a declaration of candidacy

Once I become a candidate, then what?

Within two weeks* of the date you become a candidate, you must file a Personal Financial Affairs Statement and a Candidate Registration with the PDC, if required

*An incumbent officeholder who has filed an F-1 earlier in the year does not need to file a second F-1 in the same year after becoming a candidate.

When do I have to file reports?

C-3 Contribution Reports: Before June 1 of the election year, candidates fill out a C-3 report for each bank deposit and file these reports with their C-4 reports.  Beginning June 1, each deposit must be reported no later than the following Monday.  Since contributions must be deposited within 5 business days of receipt, active campaigns will make at least one weekly deposit.

C-4 Summary Reports: This report, along with its attached schedules, summarizes the campaign’s financial activity and shows itemized expenditures for a specific period.  C-4s are due:

Monthly from the beginning of the campaign through May of the election year.  If a campaign has over $200 in contributions or expenditures during a month, a C-4 report is filed by the 10th of the following month.  Starting in June of the election year and continuing through the primary and general elections, C-4 reports are due 21 and 7 days before each election and on the 10th of the month after the month the election was held with the candidate’s name on the ballot, even if there was little or no activity to report.

See the PDC's online calendar for report due dates and all other important dates candidates should know.

Where do I file PDC reports?

Most candidates will file reports only with the PDC.  King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties and the City of Seattle have enacted local filing requirements.  Other county and municipal office candidates should check with the auditor or city clerk to determine if there is a local filing requirement.

Where do I get instructions?

Find brochures, manuals, and other filer resources in Learn section of the PDC's website.  Blank forms are found under Learn, but most candidates will electronically file their campaign reports.  

Submit questions to the PDC's online help desk.

The PDC offers free compliance and ORCA training — find dates and classes on the PDC's online calendar. If you can't make to one of our classes, view videos of them online