We need candidates to run for the Legislature — Here’s how!

New Mexico is at a crisis point where the most extreme far-left proposals are being rammed through the legislature, as we saw some this session to hike gas prices, force us to wait a full week to make a simple gun purchase, and so many others. 

Republicans fought hard for your rights this legislative session, as we did last year, but we need more of us to run — and win — to stop the bleeding caused by the other side.

Make sure you are prepared to fight to win in the race you are entering, and it is recommended you talk to leaders in your area to make sure you are the only candidate in the primary so you can win in November against the Democrats. If there is someone else in the primary, make sure you have discussions to make sure you are ready to do what it takes to win both the primary and general elections.

Also, make sure you know what you are signing up for. You will need the flexibility to take off of work each January-March in even years and January-February in odd years. You will attend interim meetings across the state after the legislative session, so be prepared to take off work for those also. Legislators do not make a salary (exclusive of set per diem rates for your hotels, meals, and gas), so take all of these factors into account before you run for office.

So, here is a how-to guide for becoming a candidate for getting on the ballot to run for the Legislature!

What you will need to get started: 

Pick a Treasurer

To begin your campaign, you will need a campaign treasurer. Find someone you know and trust to help you with this. 

Open a CFIS Account

You will need to open a CFIS (Campaign Finance Reporting Information System) account through the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website for your campaign by clicking this link here or by visiting https://login.cfis.sos.state.nm.us/ 

This will be used for reporting campaign contributions. 

The first primary report is due on April 8, 2024, for the reporting period spanning October 3, 2023, to April 1, 2024. All other campaign reporting dates can be found linked here or by visiting https://www.sos.nm.gov/candidate-and-campaigns/how-to-become-a-candidate/campaign-finance-reporting-schedule/ 

Save your Candidate Campaign Committee Registration Form. Print it out. This will be needed later.

Also, while in CFIS, fill out your Financial Disclosure Statement. This will be needed on filing day, so print this out also. 

Get an EIN Number

Your campaign will need an EIN number through the IRS to conduct its activities. Here is a link to the IRS website to apply for that: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online 

Make sure to save your EIN number and, ideally, make a copy of the “success” page affixed with the number for your records. You will need this EIN document in the future. 

Open a Bank Account

Now that you have successfully opened a bank account and a CFIS account, you can now open a bank account. Make sure to bring the official printed documents from the SOS and the IRS to do this. You will need a campaign treasurer to come with you to open the account, or the bank may need them to sign forms remotely if they cannot physically come with you to the bank. I recommend they be there in person.

Once you have your bank information, you will need to enter this into CFIS. 

Gather Signatures 

Now that you have all these steps done, you must register and get your petition signature site up and running. You can do that on the SOS site by clicking here or by going to this link: https://www.electronicpetitions.elections.sos.nm.gov/ 

To get paper signature forms ready, you will need to find the form here (https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/2024-Primary-Statewide-Nominating-Petition_English.pdf) on the SOS website and ensure it is filled in correctly for your campaign with the exact name on your voter registration, the correct home address, the proper county, and the proper office (such as State Representative District __ or State Senate District __). Walk around your neighborhood or disseminate these forms to friends to gather signatures. Note: the form is also available in Spanish here: https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/2024-Primary-Statewide-Nominating-Petition_SPANISH.pdf 

Each district has a different number of signatures required for your race. The required number of signatures you will need to gather is found on pages 31-33 of the SOS candidate guide linked here or found here: https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/2024-Primary-Candidate-Guide.V2-1.pdf 

File for Office

You will file for office at the county clerk’s office in the county where you live. For example, if your residence is in Albuquerque, you will file at the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office. If your residence is in Rio Rancho, you will file at the Sandoval County Clerk’s Office regardless of how many counties are in your district. 

IMPORTANT: Filing Day is 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on March 12, 2024, and on March 12, 2024 only! It is vital to have all your signatures collected by then and ready to go. Print your online signatures via the tools on the petition portal site and bring in the petitions you have gathered by hand as well. Ensure they add up to ideally 150% of the number required to account for any errors that may exist in the hand-gathered signatures. 

DO NOT BE LATE TO FILING DAY. Getting to the Clerk’s Office as early as possible (9:00 a.m. sharp) is recommended.

Things to Bring to Filing Day


Now that you have completed all of these steps and have all the proper information filed with the county clerk, you should receive a letter from the clerk telling you your filing was successful.

For any questions or concerns about what you need to file or if you have any issues finding any of this information, call the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office at 505-827-3600 (Option 2). 

Dates to know: 

  • March 12, 2024 — Filing Day
  • June 4, 2024 — Primary Election Day
  • April 8, 2024 — First Primary Report Due
  • Early Voting Dates will be found on the local county clerk’s office website. 

I hope this short guide helped you know what you need to begin your run for the Legislature in 2024. Thank you for stepping up to serve New Mexico! 

NOTE: This article is by no means meant to be an all-inclusive guide for getting access to the ballot in 2024. Any and all questions about the process should be directed to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office or your local county clerk. 

John Block serves as state representative for New Mexico House District 51, first elected in 2022. He is also the founder and editor of the Piñon Post. 


3 thoughts on “We need candidates to run for the Legislature — Here’s how!”

  1. Wow. Thanks John. That’s awesome just to even get a picture of what it takes to run. Wish I could run in District 9 Santa Fe. I researched it a bit and I would have to literally leave my job and lose it to run. Wish I was closer to retirement, I’d do it in an instant. Not sure anyone would even vote for me. I’m life-long, born here Santa Fean. I wonder if I could even get signatures. Then, debates…how would I deal with financial stuff. I have govt and journalism degrees. Again, thanks John. It also takes lots of $$$. I will be donating. Johnson is running in Albuq for a seat. I’ll probably donate to that one.

  2. Is that the info you’ve given to your boyfriend John?
    Why don’t you boys quit living in sin and get married?

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