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You've Got a Right to Run!

Run for Local Office – It’s Your Right!

In just a few days, we’ll reach the Wednesday, Feb. 1 deadline for prospective candidates to file their intentions to run for office. It’s your right to run for local office, so here’s what you need to know:

File Your Intentions to Run

Any Sudbury registered voter can run for local office. Visit the Town Clerk’s office, located in the Sudbury Town Hall, or, for L-S candidates, the L-S Registrar located in Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, to complete the form to file your intentions to run. Once the form is filed, you will receive a candidate packet containing dates and deadlines, details regarding campaign finance rules and requirements, a “Save the Date” from the LWV Sudbury for the Candidates’ Forum, and a set of nomination papers.

Collect Signatures and Return Papers

To appear on the ballot, use your nomination papers to gather the signatures of no fewer than 50 registered voters. Then, return the papers to the Town Clerk or L-S Registrar by Feb. 3. Once the signatures are certified by the Town Clerk’s office, your name will appear on the ballot. Be sure to gather enough signatures that if some fail to certify, you’ll still have more than 50.

Make Your Case to Voters

Set up a web page and social media site for your campaign, host coffees, shake hands at the Transfer Station, purchase push cards and yard signs, talk to voters informally, and, of course, participate in the LWV Sudbury Voters’ Guide, Candidates’ Forum, and Meet the Candidates events. Check your candidate packet for additional information.


I have heard people say that they were “asked” to run. Do I need to be asked to run by a member of a board or committee?

Any Sudbury registered voter can run for local office. Members of boards or committees do sometimes recruit like-minded people to run, but many people run for office because they oppose the goals and ideas of the current board/committee or because they simply want to serve the community.

What if I am new and nobody knows me? Don’t I need a large group of supporters?

All the elected officials serving today were once fresh, new faces. If you check the election archives here, you’ll see that many of them lost their first (and sometimes second!) run for office, but used the skills and supporters that they gained while running to get elected in a subsequent election.

Do I need municipal experience or special credentials?

It certainly helps when you make your case to voters, but previous municipal experience or special credentials are not a pre-requisite. If you watch past Candidates’ Forums here, you will find that many of the elected officials serving today had no municipal experience or special skills when they ran for office. What they all shared was the courage to run and the desire to serve.

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