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  • Tips for Treasurers

It’s Primary Season, Even for Unopposed and Independent Candidates

March 10, 2014

Unopposed and independent candidates are still entitled to a separate contribution limit for the primary (or convention, if in a state that is holding one to nominate candidates for the general). Unopposed candidates must consider the date on which the election is held to be the date of the election for purposes of designating contributions to the primary. Independent or third party candidates may choose one of these dates to be their "primary” date: (1) The last day on which, under state law, a candidate may qualify for a position on the general election ballot; (2) The date of the last major party primary, caucus or convention in the state; or (3) For third party candidates, the date of the nomination by their party. See page 17 of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees for more information on how contribution limits work. In terms of reporting, both unopposed and independent/third party candidates must file the pre-election report applicable to their state, even if they are not actually participating in a primary election or nominating convention.