As the Occupy movement grows, some have asked if we will run candidates for office. While the movement will not push a candidate to avoid being coopted, I believe it is important to make the information on running for office available to those who are interested.
You do not need to run as an Independent; in Texas, the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties all have ballot access. A county chair within each of these parties will tell you what filing fees, if any apply, and they will likely be a good resource to find volunteers to help with your campaign. The Libertarian party usually does not charge filing fees, and is always looking for good candidates; contact the state office if there is no county chair.
But if you do not wish to identify withany of these parties, here's what you want to do.
First, if you plan on soliciting ANY campaign donations, you will need to file with the Texas Ethics Commission. You can do this before you file for office, and I personally would advise it as you can get a headstart on fundraising. You will find their website at: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/main/coh.htm . This is the site for candidates and officeholders. The shedule for deadlines for the 2012 election cycle is located HERE. Know it. Learn it. Live it. The single biggest error many candidates make is not paying attention to filing windows.
The next step is to pay attention to candidate filing windows. This information can be found at the Secretary of State's office. There is a guideline for independent candidates filing for public office here: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/ind.shtml . Please note that the filing deadline has changed and will officially open November 28th as there is still ongoing discussion about redistricting within the state of Texas. The Secretary of State's office can keep you up to date on this information if you contact them.
The next step is to advise friends and family NOT to vote in the primaries. Voting in the primaries in Texas negates their right to sign your petition, and you will need those signatures. Make sure your friends are registered to vote, though, so that they can sign.
You can then begin collecting signatures. You have 75 days after the primaries to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot. You can do this by standing in public places, or attending meetings of likeminded groups.
The rules above apply only to the state of Texas. If you have any questions about how to run in your state, or if you need any further information on running in Texas, please contact me. I would be happy to help you find what you need.