Deadline for candidates to file to run in June primary races for local offices is just three weeks away

If you’ve ever considered running for local office and want to be on the ballot in the Democratic or Republican primary election in 2024, you must file your petition to run by 4 p.m. on March 25 at the latest.

If you are an independent candidate, you have until primary election day on June 4 to file your petition with the county clerk.

In Princeton, voters will choose a mayor and two council members this year. The mayor serves a four-year term, while council members serve three-year terms. You can also run to represent your neighborhood district as a Democratic or Republican committeeperson. Each district has two representatives. The municipal committee representatives interview candidates and endorse candidates, making recommendations to the county Democratic and Republican heads regarding ballot placement that gives candidates the “county line” or “party line.” The county line system, which is unique to New Jersey and gives the political machine’s endorsed candidate preferential ballot placement, has come under fire in the race for the U.S. Senate, with candidate Andy Kim calling for the county line to be abolished. Kim has filed a lawsuit challenging the ballot.

Candidates for mayor and council (or other types of governing bodies such as township committees in some municipalities) must obtain petitions from the municipal clerk and file them with the municipal clerk.

Candidates for county commission must obtain petitions from the county clerk and file them with the county clerk.

Petitions for the school board must be filed with the county clerk by 4 p.m. on the last Monday in July. The petitions are available online closer to the filing deadline.

Candidates for state office must obtain and file petitions with the New Jersey Division of Elections.

For more information about filing to become a candidate for office in New Jersey, visit the state Division of Elections website.

Candidates who win the Democratic and Republican primary elections advance to the November general election with unaffiliated candidates.