City Election Information for Candidates
The next city election will be held on November 3, 2020 to elect a mayor and all six councilmembers.
Newly elected councilmembers and the mayor take office on the second Wednesday following their election.
Residents interested in running for the office of mayor or councilmember in the November 3rd election must be nominated at the Nominating Caucus. The meeting will take place in the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium.
To have a name placed on the ballot, an eligible candidate must receive a nomination from a registered voter of their ward and at least a second to that nomination. For the office of mayor, the candidate may be nominated by any registered voter of the city, with a second from a registered voter of the city.
- Notice of Nominating Caucus
- Nominating Caucus Agenda
- Qualifications for Election as Mayor or City Councilmember
- Nominating Caucus Information Page
- View the September 12, 2017 Caucus
- View the Nominating Caucus from 2015
Contact the City Clerk at JessieC@takomaparkmd.gov or at 301-891-7267 for additional information about running for office.
Qualifications for Election
Candidates for the office of mayor must have resided in the city for at least six months immediately preceding his/her election, must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election, and must be a qualified voter of the city. The mayor must maintain principal residence in the city during his/her term of office. If the mayor changes his/her principal residence from the city, the mayor’s term shall be immediately terminated and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in Section 308 of the City Charter. The mayor is prohibited from holding other publicly elected offices during his/her term of office, and is prohibited from serving on any city board, commission, or other body that has authority to adjudicate or otherwise resolve disputes.
Candidates for the office of councilmember must have resided in the city (and ward from which they are elected) for at least six months immediately preceding their election, must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election, and must be qualified voters of the city. Councilmembers must maintain their principal residence in the city and in their ward during their term of office. If a councilmember changes his/her principal residence from the ward from which the councilmember was elected, the councilmember’s term shall be immediately terminated and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in Section 308 of the City Charter. Councilmembers are prohibited from holding other publicly elected offices during their term of office, and are prohibited from serving on any city board, commission, or other body that has authority to adjudicate or otherwise resolve disputes.
Write-In Candidates for the Election
The City Charter allows for write-in votes. Any eligible resident who wishes to be pre-registered as a write-in candidate and to have her/his name posted in the voting booth for the purpose of identifying her/him as a candidate for office, must file her/his name with the City Clerk by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday prior to the election.
Any person nominated or presenting herself/himself as a write-in candidate must meet the qualifications of the office for which s/he is nominated and must file the required candidate forms. A person whose name appears on the ballot may not register as a write-in candidate, and a person may only register as a write-in candidate for one office in any election.
Candidates' Access to Multi-unit Buildings
After providing notice to landlords and tenants, qualified candidates and their volunteers are permitted to enter apartment buildings to campaign for office or register voters. Access is limited to buildings in a candidate's ward if running for City Council. A candidate for Mayor may access buildings in any ward.
Candidates in the City Election become eligible for access after they are nominated at the Nominating Caucus.
Tenants are not required to open their doors to candidates. Tenants in a building may place a notice on their door to indicate that canvassing is not welcome.
Candidate Information Package
- Complete Election Calendar (with important filing dates for candidates)
Forms for Candidates
- Certificate of Eligibility for Candidacy form
- Candidate Profile form
- Instructions for Candidate Statement and Photo for City Newsletter
- Financial Disclosure Statement and Conflict of Interest form
- Campaign Contribution Report
- Challenger and Watcher Certification
- Application to Receive List of Registered Voters
- Information on Campaign Signs and “Political Matter”
- Vote by Mail (Absentee ballot) application (PDF) or
-Vote by Mail application in Spanish (PDF)
- Link to Vote by Mail (Absentee ballot) electronic application
-Link to Vote by Mail electronic application in Spanish
Links to other Information:
- Ward Map (to print 8 1/2 x 11)
- Ward Map (to print 11 x 17)
- Street Directory (street address ranges with corresponding ward)
- Interactive Ward Map
- The City Charter and Code are important resources for candidates. See particularly:
- City Charter
- Takoma Park Code, Title 2, Administration
- Takoma Park Code, Title 3, Ethics
- Takoma Park Code, Title 5, Elections
- Results of Past Elections
- Takoma Park has a Council-Manager form of government. (Link to information about how a Council-Manager form of government operates)
Salary and Benefits of the Mayor and City Councilmembers
The Mayor receives an annual salary of $14,128.34.
Each member of the City Council receives an annual salary of $10,867.93.
Elected officials are eligible to participate in the City’s health insurance program on a cost sharing basis, with the City paying 50% of the lowest cost base premium rate for individual coverage.
Other benefits include:
- use of a City of Takoma Park smartphone for City email and phone calls during the term in office ;
- opportunity to attend conferences beneficial to the City through organizations such as the National League of Cities and the Maryland Municipal League (MML); and
- reimbursement of certain other expenses, such as for travel to meetings at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the MML Montgomery County Chapter.