Running for Municipal Office
Do you want to run for municipal office? On this page, you will find candidate filing timelines and dates for the 2021 municipal elections.
Want to learn more about office types? For information about the roles in local government, visit City and County Elective Offices | UNC School of Government.
Because 2021 is a year following the federal census, some municipalities must redistrict to correct population imbalances. Therefore, filing periods and election dates for district-based contests are subject to change as they are contingent on the timeliness of the U.S. Census Bureau releasing data and state and local governments adopting redistricting plans based on that data.
Update: Some Election and Candidate Filing Dates Postponed
Under Session Law 2021-56, more than 30 municipalities across North Carolina will delay elections originally scheduled for later this year. The law allows a municipality to keep any regularly scheduled at-large elections in 2021 if it notifies the county board of elections of this decision by July 19, 2021. For details, visit our press release, Elections Postponed in Several North Carolina Municipalities.
The filing dates at the 2021 Municipal Candidate Tool capture this update and any changes moving forward.
Updated posted: June 28, 2021
In 2021, there are two scheduled filing periods for municipal elections by contest type:
- Municipalities in which there are no district contests: Noon on Friday, July 2 to noon on Friday, July 16, 2021.
- Municipalities in which there are district contests: Noon on Monday, July 26 to noon on Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.**
How are the filing periods for the 2021 municipal elections determined? They are set per N.C.G.S. § 163-294.2(c).
In 2021, there are two municipal election dates:
- Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021
How are municipal election dates determined? They are set according to the election method as outlined by N.C. General Statutes, a local act of the General Assembly, and/or municipal charters. To learn about election methods, see Types of Elections: Municipal Elections.
See seven facts about running as a municipal candidate in 2021 on Fact Sheet: Running for 2021 Municipal Offices.
*Each candidate shall sign the notice of candidacy in the presence of the chairman or secretary of the board of elections, State or county, with which the candidate files. In the alternative, a candidate may have the candidate’s signature on the notice of candidacy acknowledged and certified to by an officer authorized to take acknowledgments and administer oaths, in which case the candidate may mail or deliver by commercial courier service the candidate’s notice of candidacy to the appropriate board of elections.
**Applies if any office requires residency in a municipal district or ward.