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How do I run for public office?

Chris Mazzolini

Want to rule Wilmington with an iron first or lord over a county as a commissioner? Want to carve out a fiefdom in a quiet beach town?

Well, we are a democracy so the first thing you need to do is get elected.

The first step on your road to public office is to imagine that everyone wants you to help them in some way, and that helping one person or group will make another person or group angry.

If that sounds like fun, then the next thing you need to do is contact your county’s board of elections and find out what you need to do. It will involve waiting for an election that you are eligible for, filing during a scheduled filing period and paying a small fee, about $50 to $100 depending on the office.

Remember, candidates have a number of rules they have to follow about how they can accept donations and spend that money. For rules and other general information about elections in North Carolina, visit the state Board of Elections.

Below is the county-by-county info.

New Hanover County: The Board of Elections is at 230 Government Center Drive, Ste. 180, Wilmington, [Map this] and is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays. Phone number is (910) 798-7330.

Brunswick County: The Brunswick County Board of Elections office is at 10 Referendum Drive, Building F, Bolivia, [Map this] at the county government complex off U.S. 17 Business, and is open 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays. The phone number is (910) 253–2620.

Pender County: Board of Elections is at 807 S. Walker St., Burgaw [Map this]. Open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays. (910) 259-1220.

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