Campaign Finance & Disclosure

Campaign Filing, Financing & Nomination Papers


wanting to run for nonpartisan, local, public office

How to be a Candidate on the Local Ballot

Three Basic Steps in all Local, Nonpartisan Elections Ballots
1) Filing
2) Financing Plan &
3) Nomination Papers

Introduction to Being a Local Candidate

Deadlines for April 2023 Election (Municipal & School Board)

Understand the deadlines so you can file on time and with all three forms completed (to be explained).

Know when the General Election is held, so you can work back from that date with any tasks. 

  • Submit all paperwork:
    5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 3, 2023
    • City Council: to City Clerk
    • School Board: to School District Clerk
  •  General Election: Tuesday, April 4, 2023

If you raise and spend funds (not required, see below for financial requirements)


Running for School Board

La Crosse School Board

These three forms are due January 3, 2023, by 5:00 PM.


Running for La Crosse City Council

City Council – La Crosse

The City Clerk has a specific Elections page that is helpful in addition to a Candidate Handbook


Must Read or View Resources

Wisconsin Ethics Commission & Wisconsin Elections Commission



STEP 2: Submit Your Financing Plan

HINT: you do not have to have raise money, but you have to have a plan in case you do

The Registration Form 

Even if you do not expect to reach the maximum amounts allowed, it is a good idea to track who is contributing to your campaign and to follow the rules.

It is possible that a generous last-minute contribution could tip you past the point of needing to report your finances.

Recalling contributor information could be challenging – and legally challenged – if you have not recorded them from the first day.

Whether you are an individual running for an open seat or a referendum committee encouraging voting on an issue, there are laws on

  • who can give you money
  • how much can be collected anonymously
  • how much cash you can collect from individuals (vs. check or credit card)
  • what information you must collect
  • how you disclose expenses

Understanding campaign finance laws and how you must disclose information about your campaign are the most important legal component to your campaign.

See our introductory article on your type of campaign.

Regardless of the type of committee you are required to form, keeping track of how you spend money raised during your campaign and disclosing how you are spending it is required.

Campaign Filing: Exempt or Not-Exempt

If you do not intend to receive or spending more than $2,000 in 2022 or $2,300 in 2023, file as “exempt”.

If you end up exceeding this amount, you can file an amendment to your campaign finance form. You must do so within 10 days of exceeding the cap.

If there is a primary:

  • Pre-Primary Election Finance Report Due: Feb 13, 2023
  • Primary: Tuesday, February 21

General Election Deadlines

  • Pre-General Election Finance Report Due:
    March 27, 2023
  • General Election: Tuesday, April 4


Vicki Markussen
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Author: Vicki Markussen

CEO/Founder, Engage Greater La Crosse


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