Let the 2014 election season begin. Officially, at least.
Though candidates have been raising money, lining up endorsements, hiring campaign staff — and in some cases even walking precincts — Friday was the first day that so-called “signatures in lieu” petitions are available for politicians and political hopefuls. This date always falls 158 days before the June primary election.
“This is not a required act,” Fresno County Clerk Brandi Orth said. “But a lot of people use it to get out there and get known. This is a first act that they may or may not use.”
Political candidates seek registered voters to sign the petitions, which can be used to reduce filing fees related to the election. The more signatures, the more money that can be saved on the fees. Also, the signatures can be used toward a candidate’s nomination.
Those aren’t the only reasons to take the step, Orth said: “A lot of people use it to get out there and get known.”
Already, she said, possible candidates have pulled the paperwork. The period to turn in signatures ends at various times, depending on the office being sought.
The official campaign filing period for the June 3 primary — when candidates actually sign up to run — goes from Feb. 10 to March 7.