It took a while to tabulate the results, but we can now say definitively that 441 candidates filed with the State Board of Elections for statewide, legislative or judicial office during the recent filing period. 155 of them, or 35%, also signed the Code of Fair Campaign Practices. Legislative candidates led the way, with 47% signing the code, followed by statewide candidates at 35% and judicial candidates at 13%. To be fair, ICPR has been asking statewide and legislative candidates to sign the Code for the past four cycles; we haven’t ask judicial candidates to sign before, and they usually don’t return to campaigning like officers of the other two branches.
This is the highest percentage of statewide and legislative candidates who have signed the Code during the filing period in recent memory. Still, we hope more will sign the Code and conduct positive, informative, and educational campaigns. Candidates can sign the Code after filing, and ICPR will be writing to all candidates for statewide, legislative, and judicial office to ask them to do so.
The State Board of Elections had added a search function to its website to help voters find out who has signed and who hasn’t. From the Campaign Disclosure page, click on Candidates, and then input an election year and click the box labeled “Yes – Fair Campaign”. And, as always, ICPR will be publishing the names on our website in late January.