Run for OFFICE

You, Yes YOU, Can Run for Office!

Are you bursting with ideas to improve your community, and believe it’s better to express them someplace other than Facebook? Are you passionate about building coalitions devoted to meaningful change? Do people say, “You should run for office”?

You should. You can. We’d like to help. 

These pages will help you decide if public service is for you (or someone close to you that you would like to support). Here are some general qualifications for serving as an elected leader in Delaware County, NY.

(Click the red button below to download a pdf describing local government offices in NY).

You can run for office if you:

  • Are a US citizen,
  • Are of voting age (18) or older, 
  • Are registered to vote, 
  • Live and vote in Delaware County, within the jurisdiction you wish to serve, 
  • Are able to commit to a full term of service,
  • Want to see change and to serve in your community,
  • Have issues you’re passionate about and a plan for addressing them,
  • Enjoy motivating and encouraging others, 
  • Can communicate clearly and listen attentively,
  • Are trustworthy and dependable, 
  • Are a critical thinker and problem solver, 
  • Can take criticism in stride, and
  • Genuinely like people…

You might just be a public servant ready to be elected!

Please note that the list above does not include experience holding public office. At the local level, we are often looking for community leaders from all walks of life, with fresh energy and ideas. So don’t let lack of public office experience stop you and remember you don’t run for office alone. It is absolutely a team effort! 

Let’s talk and see if we can join forces to effect positive change in Delaware County. 

What Can I Run For?

Let’s get started! You are thinking about running, but not sure exactly what there is to run for? We have you covered. Review the list below and see if there is a fit for you. These are the elected positions found at the town level in Delaware County. Each position has its own responsibilities and compensation. The descriptions are generalized and specific job requirements should be verified with each Town Office for accuracy as they vary from town to town and by changes in town ordinances.

Town Supervisor (*2 year term)
  1. Sits on Delaware County Board of Supervisors (legislature for the county).
    1. Serves on county committees.
    2. Drafts policy for town and the county.
  2. Serves as head of town.
    1. Presiding officer at town council meetings. 
    2. Equal member on the council, votes and takes part in discussion.
    3. Carries out decisions made by the town board decisions
  3. *Town Fiscal Officer, “Treasurer”
    1. Responsible for the initial Annual Budget. 
    2. Ensures deposits are made.
    3. Pays vendors and employees.
    4. Makes Financial Reports to Town Council and New York State.
    5. *Council can hire a book-keeper to perform many of these duties. 
  4. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $6,200 – $24,324
    2. Contact the town’s clerk office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.
  5. *Deposit, Harpersfield, Sidney & Tompkins have 4 year Town Supervisor terms.
Town Council (or Town Board) (4 year term)
  1. Legislative Authority for the Town
    1. Four (4 members) plus the Town Supervisor comprise the Council
    2. Two (2) members alternate election in odd numbered years
  2. Adopts Town Budget
  3. Fixes salary of officers and employees.
  4. Establishes rules of Council procedure. 
  5. Designates the official newspaper of the town.
  6. Adopts local laws and resolutions. 
  7. All decisions must be approved by a majority (3 of 5). 
  8. Fills vacancies in elective or appointee town offices for the hiring of others.
  9. Council can establish committees.
    1. Members coordinate with department heads or community organizations. 
    2. Committees report back to the Council to propose solutions.  
  10. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $1,200 – $4,761.
    2. Contact the town office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector (*4 year term)
  1. Maintains an office with regular office hours. 
  2. In charge of town records:
    1. Financial Transactions.
    2. Legal Transactions.
    3. Birth/Marriage/Death records. 
      1. Acts as local agent of the state in this capacity.
    4. Issues certain licenses and permits. 
  3. Files reports with County and State agencies. 
  4. Administers elections in the Town in coordination with the Board of Elections.
  5. Posts legal notices by law or by the Council. 
  6. Clerk of Town Council, “Secretary”
    1. Takes minutes and records voting.
  7. Cannot be fired or removed except by state court. 
  8. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $9.000 – $41,827
    2. Contact the town office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.
  9. *Bovina, Franklin, Hamden, Kortright, Masonville have 2 year terms for Town/Clerk.
  10. In Andes, Colchester, Hamden, Hancock, Meredith, and Roxbury, the Town Clerk and Tax Collector are separate officers.
Town Justice (4 year term)
  1. Presides over Town Justice Court. 
  2. Salary and expenses covered by the Town. 
  3. Initial level of State Judiciary system. 
  4. Minimum level of training once elected. 
  5. Must participate in regular in-service training at conferences.
  6. When a person is charged with a serious crime the Town Justice must decide whether the charge or evidence is strong enough to keep the person in jail. 
    1. After deciding whether they can be released on bail pending formal trial. 
  7. Conducts trials and hearings for violations and misdemeanors. 
    1. Hears “small claims” court, payment of unpaid bills and eviction. 
  8. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $5,500 – $28,000
    2. Contact the town office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.
Superintendent of Highways (*4 year term)
  1. Responsible for maintenance and repair of town highways and bridges.
    1. Removal of obstructions from roads.
  2. Power to hire employees.
    1. *Subject to appropriation establishment by Town Board/Highway Department. 
  3. Maintain and enhance highway system. 
  4. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $42,060 – $59,579
    2. Contact the town office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.
  5. *Andes, Bovina, Colchester, Franklin, Hamden, Kortright, Masonville, Meredith, and Walton have 2 year terms for Supt of Highways.
Assessor (4 year term)
  1. Estimates value of real property within boundaries of the municipality. 
    1. Fair and accurate assessments.
    2. Taxes based on this assessment.
    3. Familiar with the local real estate market. 
    4. Physically re-inspect and reappraise properties. 
  2. In addition to valuing property, assessors have other responsibilities:
    1. Inspect new construction and major improvements to existing structures to ensure accurate property descriptions and valuations.
    2. Approve and track property tax exemptions, including the School Tax Relief (STAR) exemptions.
    3. Use software to administer their various responsibilities.
    4. Prepare evidence for and attend all public grievance hearings of the Board of Assessment Review and present evidence in support of the municipality’s assessments.
    5. Review real estate sale data for accuracy.
    6. File annual reports on assessment changes with the state tax department.
  3. Salary Range as of 2017
    1. Annual salaries are set by each Town Council and range from $4,400 – $13,907
    2. Contact the town office for current salaries and ask about benefits, as well.

2023 Offices On Ballot—It’s All Local!

Now that you know what the responsibilities are for the positions, find your town and see what offices are up for grabs in the next election! Year 2023 is all about local. Almost all of the positions described above are listed per town below! Do you see any that interest you? 

Village Offices and School Boards

Also happening this year are Village and School Board elections!  Many of the village positions echo town positions in job descriptions, but village and school boards have their own salary schedules, and election calendars.  While the Board of Elections supports the village and school boards with equipment and some administration, the elections are managed mainly by the villages and the school boards themselves.  While the election calendar is the same, the process and procedures differ from village to village. Contact your village clerk for more information.  And, yes!  If you’re a Democrat and would like the Delaware County Democratic Committee’s help in your village or school board campaign, please contact the Chair of your town’s Democratic Committee, or the Chair of the DCDC. 

For a document of all of the information on this page, check back for an updated, downloadable PDF coming soon.

Town Democratic Committees

Did You Know?

Town committees are as grassroots and you can get! It’s where Democrats come together to discuss political issues and work to get Democrats elected to office. We work:

  • To develop a strong and active local party organization that includes dedicated volunteers and capable candidates.
  • To play the primary role in the planning and waging of campaigns for local offices.
  • To serve as a link between Democratic voters and their elected officers.
  • To engage in activities to increase visibility and build our volunteer base.
  • To recruit Democrats who wish to serve as election inspectors.

So, maybe you’re not ready to run, at least not this year, but still want to be where the action is? Join your local Town Democratic Committee! You’ll learn how to run a campaign by volunteering with one. Several towns have openings and some have no committee at all.  If that’s your town, we’ll help you start one with the support of the town next door.

The number of positions available on a town committee depends on the number of election districts it has. Some of the smaller towns have only one or two districts, such as Bovina and Masonville, while other towns, such as Sidney and Middletown, have several. Each election district has two committee member seats representing them (with some exceptions). 

Democratic Committee memberships are an elected position! The election process involves gathering signatures on petitions once every odd year, following the same process that all candidates use to get on the ballot. The number of signatures required is usually nominal and varies by election district. Should there be more petitions (for candidates) submitted than there are committee seats, then the candidates are placed on the ballot. The two candidates receiving the most votes in that election district would be the winners and seated on the Town Committee.

In the interim between local election years, Town Chairs nominate interested Democrats to fill vacancies from their town on the County Committee and then such nominations are approved (or not) by vote of the County Committee.

OK, How Do I Get Started?

So you’ve considered, and selected what you want to run for, now what? Get in contact! Almost every town has a committee standing by to ensure you succeed in your bid for public office. If your town does not have a committee,  reach out to the Delaware County Chair, Kathleen Hayek. These contacts will start to formalize your campaign with the necessary training, resources, and funds allocation to ensure you win!

Running for office is much like applying for a job, and your future employer is your community!  You’ll need to convince as many of your neighbors as possible that you’re the person they should “hire” with their vote. Your first interview is with your Town Committee. Convince them you’re the one for the job and you are well on your way to victory. 


When Should I Get Started?

Now! Today! Election calendar deadlines are quickly approaching!

You will need to be ready to start collecting signatures on petitions that enable you to get your name on the ballot on February 28, 2023. That’s just around the corner!  

2023 Political Calendar

Here are just a few of the important deadlines…

February 14—Last day to change enrollment before the June Primary. Changes made between February 15th and June 28th, will be effective on July 5th . 

Petitioning Season 2023

February 28 — First day to sign
April 3-6 — Dates for filing your collected signatures with the Board of Elections (BOE)

April 18 — Last day to file authorization: last day to accept or decline 

June 17 — Primary Election

November 7 — General Election

You’ll find the whole list of election deadlines at the Delaware County Board of Elections website:

We suggest you add the important dates to your personal calendar now! 

While you’re at the BOE website, print yourself a copy of their very informative and useful document, Running for Elective Office in New York State,  It’s got all the forms you’ll need to get started on collecting signatures and directions.

What Resources and Tools Will I Need To Run For Office?

You’ve selected the job you want. You know who to contact. Now it’s time to prepare a few background materials on yourself. You will want to:

  • Write a short resume of the skills and accomplishments that have prepared you for office,
  • Get a good photo of yourself for printed materials and social media posts,
  • Start practicing your stump speech which:
    • Tells the story of who you are and why you’re running for office
    • Lists your skills and experience that will enable you to be successful
    • Lists the issues your passionate about and how you will address them
  • Gather your “kitchen cabinet” of core supporters –– usually your family and closest friends who will support you all through this amazing adventure.
  • Sign up for training seminars wherever you can.

Remember you will not do this alone!  You will lead a team of supporters who will have your back, who will help you run for office and win!

Join us on Saturday, January 28th for an introduction to running for local office sponsored by the Delaware County Democratic Committee.

To RSVP more information email:

Ready to be a candidate? Looking to help a candidate get elected? 

Use the button below to download our Running for Office pdf.

Where Else Can I Get Support for My Campaign?

Besides the Democratic Committee, there are numerous Political Action Committees (PAC’s) that will help you run for office.  Choose one that best fits your issues or interests. Reach out to them! They may be willing to volunteer, host a meet the candidate event, Q&A panel, or may widen your network. It’s best to run a connected campaign, the more support you have the more success you’ll have. Here’s a starter list, but there are many many more.  Tip:  Google “Run for Office” for a long list of training opportunities and campaign resources!

Board of Elections
Progressive Parties and Activist Groups
Candidate Training Groups
Local Campaign Services

Campaign Design Assistance

Lisa Tait, Silvertop Grahics

Heather Phelps Lipton 

Yard Signs

Locust Grove Enterprises

Want to Support Others Running for Office?

Help us elect more Democrats in Delaware County!  Please make a donation to our 2021 Local Candidates! We’ll use your contribution for candidate training, ads, yard signs, campaign grants and get out the vote expenses, all spent right here in Delaware County! Thanks so much!

Print This Information

For a 9-10 page document of all of the above information click below.  Last updated, Jan 26, 2021.  Any corrections, edits, additions? Please email them to Kathleen at:  Thanks!

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