Campaign Finance: Candidate Committee Overview

Who Needs to Register a Candidate Committee?


​When ​An individual needs to register a committee as soon as practicable (§ 11.0202(1)(a)) when any of the following are true:

  • The individual has filed nomination papers (§ 11.0101(1)(a)1)

  • The individual is nominated as a candidate by a political party (§ 11.0101(1)(a)2)

  • The individual receives a contribution or makes a disbursement to support their nomination or election to public office (§ 11.0101(1)(a)3)

  • The individual holds a state or local office (§ 11.0101(1)(c))
Two additional critera apply for ballot access:

  • If the individual has been nominated as a candidate by caucus, the candidate must file their registration statement within 5 days of their nomination (§ 8.05(1)(j)2)

  • If an individual wishes to run as a write-in candidate in an election where there is one or more certified candidates, the individual must file a registration statement by noon on the Friday immediately preceding the election or votes for the individual will not be counted (§ 7.50(2)(em))
​Threshold ​$0. An individual must register when they meet any of the conditions in the "When" box.


Register a Committee

State Candidates Register Online Now


Candidates for state offices file electronically with the Ethics Commission. State offices include:


  • Executive Offices
    • Governor
    • Lieutenant Governor
    • Attorney General
    • Superintendent of Public Instruction
    • Secretary of State
    • State Treasurer
    • District Attorney

  • Legislative Offices
    • Senate
    • Assembly

  • Judicial Offices
    • Supreme Court
    • Court of Appeals
    • Circuit Court

Local Candidates Download a Form


Candidates for local offices file on paper with their local filing officer, which is the clerk for the office in most cases. Examples of local offices include:


  • County Executive
  • County Clerk
  • Sheriff
  • Mayor
  • City Council
  • Village Board
  • School Board
  • Municipal Judges

Example: A candidate for the Waunakee Community School District Board of Education would file his or her registration and all campaign finance reports with the Waunakee Board of Education Clerk. No registration or reports would be filed with the Ethics Commission.


Find contact information for local clerks by visiting the Election Commission's Directory of Wisconsin Clerks

Forms & Reporting


Reporting Periods

Committees file periodic campaign finance reports. Please review the Filing Schedule to determine when your committee needs to file reports.

Reporting Exemption

A committee with limited activity may be eligible for a reporting exemption. While on exemption, a committee is not required to file campaign finance reports. See the Limited Activity Reporting Exemption page for details.

Forms

State Candidates File Online Now


Rather than completing a form, candidates for state office file electronically. Please review our CFIS Manuals & FAQ for help navigating the system and filing your reports. If you believe your committee is eligible to file on paper, please contact our office.

Local Candidates


Candidates for local offices file on paper with their local filing officer, which is the clerk for the office in most cases. No registration or reports should be filed with the Ethics Commission. Find contact information for local clerks by visiting the Election Commission's Directory of Wisconsin Clerks


​Committee Registration

Campaign Finance Report

Committee Termination

Resources and Compliance Information


Major Provisions of Campaign Finance Law

Candidate Committee Overview

Campaign Finance Checklists


For information regarding declarations of candidacy and the nomination process, please visit the Elections Commission.