Running for City Council 

Election Schedule

  • Voters in Districts 1, 3 and 5 elected Council members in November 2022
  • Voters in Districts 2 and 4 will elect Council members in November 2024
Candidates must reside in the district they are running for. Learn more about District Elections.

Who Can Run for City Council?

Any member of the public who meets the requirements below may run for public office in the City of San Mateo. Candidates must:
  • Be at least eighteen years of age
  • Be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of California
  • Be a registered voter of the City of San Mateo
  • Have resided continuously in San Mateo for at least 30 days immediately preceding the appointment or final filing date for nomination papers. Registration will be verified before issuance of nomination papers.

Nomination Forms

Candidates must obtain and complete the official nomination documents that are issued by the Office of the City Clerk. This is done during the official nomination period. Nomination forms are issued at no charge.

Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm (closed 12pm-1pm) except for City holidays. To schedule an appointment, please contact the City Clerk's Office. A candidate should be prepared to provide their name and residential address for validation of current voter registration and eligibility status for the district they intend to run in. 

San Mateo City Council Terms

San Mateo City Council Members are elected to serve four-year terms. Incumbent City Council Members may only serve up to three consecutive terms. No partial term of office shall be counted as any portion of the consecutive terms. The term expirations for the City Council are staggered so that only half of the offices expire at a time.

In the event that a City Council seat becomes vacant, that seat shall be filled by appointment by the Council.