POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 7:14pm
Longview, TX (Longview News-Journal) — Candidates who want to run for elected office in Longview as of May 2014 may have to do more than just toss their hats into the ring.
The Longview City Council this week is set to discuss changes that would add a $100 fee or require a 25-signature petition to file and would require candidates to have lived at least a full year in the district they are seeking to represent.
If approved, an ordinance to be reviewed Thursday would set a May 11 election to change the city’s charter.
“This goes back to a discussion by council following the 2012 election,” said city spokesman Shawn Hara.
The proposed change to the city’s charter would have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, but a citywide election could be conducted and the decision be effective if the charter change is approved.
The idea to require a filing fee came after the mayoral race in 2012, when a candidate for office moved from Longview shortly before the election. That required the city to pay for a citywide election.
In meetings after the election, council members considered requiring a petition or instituting a filing fee, hoping it would force potential candidates into a deeper commitment.
According to Texas election law, a city may set a fee as long as it also gives candidates the option to gather signatures in lieu of payment.
The required number of signatures should be one-half of 1 percent of the number of registered voters who cast ballots in the last mayoral election or 25 signatures, whichever is greater.
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