Rick Gray filed a statement of interest to defend his District 21 seat. Several others have submitted interest statements. (Peoria Times file photos)

Filing season is almost here.

For many, those two words mean it’s time to pay local, state and federal taxes.

For the incumbents and challengers who set those taxes, as well as other laws and regulations, “filing season” is slightly different.

For the August primary elections, the candidate filing period is March 9 through April 6.

While it might not match the madness of college basketball, March is hectic for many candidates, as the clock is ticking down.

Before filing with the city, county or state (depending on the position),  candidates must collect signatures of support. The number of signatures varies, based on the number of voters in each jurisdiction.

Prior to collecting signatures, candidates must file a “Candidate Statement of Interest” form. The one-page forms that ask for the candidate’s name, position desired, address and phone number are available from the clerk of each city, who collects the signed forms.

March is a big month in Arizona, from school boards and city councils on up to the highest office in the land.

The Democratic presidential preference vote is March 17.  Local candidates are more concerned with the Aug. 4 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election.

Dozens of state and federal representatives will be elected.

Federal representatives

In the U.S. Senate race receiving a great deal of attention, incumbent Martha McSally and challenger Mark Kelly—both who have already spent millions in advertising—have filed statements of interest. So have 20 other would-be senators.

U.S. House of Representative races are on in Districts 1 through 9. West Valley voters will vote in District 3, where incumbent Raul Grijalva and eight others have so far filed statements of interest; District 7, where incumbent  Ruben Gallego and 10 others have submitted interest statements; and District 8, where incumbent Debbie Lesko and six potential challengers have filed statements of interest.

State representatives

For those interested in running for state offices, the secretary of state office hosts two “Candidate Filing Workshops” this week, at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, and 10 a.m. Friday, March 6. Both are at the state Supreme Court (1501 W. Washington Street, Phoenix) and require registration.

To register or for more information, visit

West Valley voters will choose their representatives in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

Paul Boyer, William Barron and Ervin Douglas filed interest statements for the District 20 senator seat Boyer occupies.

Five have filed interest statements for the two District 20 House of Representative seats, including incumbents Anthony Kern and Shawnn Bolick.

In District 21, incumbents Kevin Payne and Tony Rivero and six others have submitted interest statements for the two House seats.

Incumbent Rick Gray and two others submitted statements of interest for District 21 Senate seat Gray currently holds.


On the city level, council member races are set in almost every West Valley city including Peoria, where three of the six Peoria City Council seats will be on the ballot in 2020:

• The Mesquite District seat, where the incumbent is Bridget Binsbacher.

• The Ironwood District seat, occupied by William (Bill) Patena.

• The Willow District seat, currently taken by Jon Edwards.

To make it to the ballot,  candidates must collect signatures of support. The Ironwood District position requires 342 signatures. The Mesquite District position requires 389. In the Willow District, candidates must collect 324 signatures.

Binsbacher, Patena and Edwards have submitted statement of interest forms, according to Rhonda Geriminsky, the Peoria city clerk.

The only challenger to file a statement of interest form as of Monday morning: David Sandoval, in the Ironwood District.

The number of signatures required to make the ballot, by district: Mesquite, 389; Ironwood, 342; Willow, 324.

To obtain a candidate packet or for more information, email or call 623-773-7340.

School boards

In November, 161 school governing board seats will be elected in Maricopa County. About a quarter of those school board seats up for election are in the West Valley.

The school board candidate filing period for the Nov. 3 election is from June 6 to July 6, as there are no school board primaries.

Among the districts with board seats open: Glendale Elementary; Litchfield Elementary; Pendergast Elementary; Peoria Unified; and Washington Elementary. All will have three seats on the ballot.

For a list of candidate training dates, statements of interest and more regarding school board positions, visit