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Metadata Description

Metadata description of Candidate Summary File

General Description

This file contains information for each candidate who has registered with the FEC or appears on an official state ballot for an election to the U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate for the current election cycle and for election cycles back to 2008 (including special elections).

Financial information for each candidate represents the sum of all reports filed by the principal campaign committee and any other committees specifically authorized by the candidate to raise and spend funds for their election. The totals cover the time period from January 1 of the non-election year through the most recent report submitted by these committees.

The record (row) for each campaign contains information, updated nightly, based upon reports either received (for House electronic filings) or computerized (for Senate paper filings) through 7 pm the previous day. These totals also incorporate any changes made by committees if any report covering the period is amended.

Generally, congressional campaigns file reports on a quarterly basis, but they must also submit a report 12 days before their primary election. During the primary election season, therefore, the period covered by this file may be different for candidates in different states.

As part of each financial report, committees must provide a summary of their financial activity in each filing, and these summaries are combined for the full two year period to create these records.

The presentation here includes total receipts and total disbursements for the campaign along with the most recent cash-on-hand value and total debts owed by the campaign at the end of the most recent reporting period. To see an example of these reporting requirements you can look at the summary and detailed summary pages of the FEC Form 3. Detailed descriptions of each element in the file can be found in the line-by-line instructions.

Downloads for these data (XML or CSV links from the top of the list) include additional information taken from the summary pages of reports submitted by the campaign (e.g. contributions from individuals, loans from the candidate, etc.). All of the elements requested on pages 2-4 of the paper versions of these reports are included in the file.

The FEC has also created a blog to discuss features of these files and respond to your questions or comments.

Information contained in the list

The Candidate Summary contains the following information:

Tag Field Name Data Type Description Range Explanation
lin_ima Link to list of reports for the committee URI List of all disclosure filings for this committee   Link to list of filings made directly by the candidate - mainly statements of candidacy for each election
can_id Candidate Id Character   9 characters First character indicates office sought - H=House, S=Senate, P=Presidential. Columns 3-4 are the state abbreviation for Congressional candidates
can_nam Candidate Name Character Name of candidate Max 90 characters  
can_off Candidate Office Text office abbreviation 1 character

P=President; S=Senate; H=House

can_off_sta Candidate Office State Character Postal abbreviation for state 2 characters  
can_off_dis Candidate Office District Number District number for House candidates 2 digits  
can_par_aff Candidate Party Affiliation Character Party abbreviation 3 characters

full list of Party affiliations

can_inc_cha_ope_sea Candidate Incumbent Challenger Open Seat Character Incumbent or challenger or open seat indicator 10 characters I=incumbent; C=challenger; O=open seat (where no incumbent sought reelection)
can_str1 Candidate Street 1


Street address   Provided by the candidate on a statement of candidacy
can_str2 Candidate Street 2 Text     Generally suite number or other secondary address
can_cit Candidate City Text City of mailing address   Note: mailing addresses are not necessarily within the district. Use Candidate Office State and Candidate Office District to specify the location of a campaign
can_sta Candidate State Text State of mailing address    
can_zip Candidate Zip Number Zip code of mailing address 5 digits  
ind_ite_con Individual Itemized Contribution Currency Sum of itemized contributions from individuals   Contributions must be itemized (i.e. listing specific information about the donor and the contribution) when the total given to the campaign from a single individual exceeds $200.
ind_uni_con Individual Unitemized Contribution Currency Sum of unitemized contributions from individuals   Total given to the campaign where specific information about the donors is not required because they have not given more than $200
ind_con Individual Contribution Currency Total contributions from individuals   Sum of the previous two fields (i.e. ind_ite_con and ind_uni_con)
par_com_con Party Committee Contribution Currency Contributions from party committees   These must be itemized regardless of amount
oth_com_con Other Committee Contribution Currency Contributions from other committees   Mostly contributions from PACs, also includes contributions from other candidates. These also must be itemized regardless of amount
can_con Candidate Contribution Currency Contributions from the candidate him(her)self    
tot_con Total Contribution Currency Total contributions   Sum of the previous 4 fields (i.e. ind_con, par_com_con, oth_com_con and can_con)
tra_fro_oth_aut_com Transfer from other Authorized Committee Currency     Candidates may have more than one committee working for their election (including jointfundraising committees). Transfers from others within the set appear here
can_loa Candidate Loan Currency Loans received from the candidate    
oth_loa Other Loan Currency Other loans   Often from banks, but must be made in the normal course of business including interest rates and collateral. Loans from individuals are treated as contributions
tot_loa Total Loan Currency     Sum of the previous 2 fields (i.e. can_loa and oth_loa)
off_to_ope_exp Offsets to Operating Expenditure Currency     e.g. refund of deposit for phone bank, etc.
off_to_fun Offsets to Fundraising Currency     Applies only for Presidential candidates receiving public matching funds in the primaries
off_to_leg_acc Offsets to Legal Accounting Currency     Applies only for Presidential candidates receiving public matching funds in the primaries
oth_rec Other Receipts Currency     e.g. interest on bank deposits, capital gains, etc.
tot_rec Total Receipts Currency     Sum of all receipt categories
ope_exp Operating Expenditure Currency     Total of normal operating expenditures. These must also be itemized when payments to a specific vendor exceed $200
exe_leg_acc_dis Exempt Legal Accounting Disbursement Currency     Applies only for Presidential candidates receiving public matching funds in the primaries
fun_dis Fundraising Disbursement Currency     Applies only for Presidential candidates receiving public matching funds in the primaries
tra_to_oth_aut_com Transfer to Other Authorized Committee Currency     Candidates may have more than one committee working for their election (including jointfundraising committees). Transfers to others within the set appear here
can_loa_rep Candidate Loan Repayment Currency Loan repayments to the candidate    
oth_loa_rep Other Loan Repayment Currency Loan repayments to banks or others    
tot_loa_rep Total Loan Repayment Currency     Sum of the previous 2 fields (i.e. can_loa_rep and oth_loa_rep)
ind_ref Individual Refund Currency Contribution refunds made to individuals    
par_com_ref Party Committee Refund Currency Contribution refunds made to parties    
oth_com_ref Other Committee Refund Currency Contribution refunds made to other committees   Mainly PACs or other candidates
tot_con_ref Total Contribution Refund Currency     Sum of the previous 3 fields (i.e. ind_ref, par_com_ref and oth_com_ref)
oth_dis Other Disbursement Currency     e.g. donations to charity, contributions to state or local candidates, etc.
tot_dis Total Disbursement Currency     Sum of all disbursement categories
cas_on_han_beg_of_per Cash on Hand Beginning of Period Currency     Cash balance for the campaign at the start of the two-year period
cas_on_han_clo_of_per Cash on Hand Close of Period Currency     Ending cash balance on the most recent filing
net_con Net Contribution Currency     Sum of all contributions minus any contribution refunds
net_ope_exp Net Operating Expenditure Currency     Sum of all operating expenditures minus any offsets to those expenditures
deb_owe_by_com Debt Owed by Committee Currency      
deb_owe_to_com Debt Owed to Committee Currency      
cov_sta_dat Coverage Start Date


MM/DD/YYYY   Beginning date for the first report during the two year period
cov_end_dat Coverage End Date


MM/DD/YYYY   Ending date of the most recent report