Candidate Endorsement Process
Procedure for the chapter to endorse a candidate for political office.
Adopted on 20 February 2022.
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A candidate for public office, running in an election governed by New York State Election Law, within the chapter’s jurisdiction may receive endorsement from Capital District DSA through the following process:
- At least five members in good standing must sign an endorsement petition to the Electoral Committee to initiate the endorsement process for a specific candidate. If there is more than one candidate seeking Capital District DSA endorsement for the same race, chapter members are limited to signing only one candidate’s endorsement petition.
- Petitions will be accepted after the filing deadline or 16 weeks before the election being contested, whichever comes first.
- The deadline for submitting petitions will be 12 weeks before the election in which they are running.
- When the petitioning window has passed, The Electoral Committee will send a questionnaire to the candidate’s email address as listed on the valid endorsement petition. The candidates will have one week to return the completed questionnaire to the Electoral Committee email address.
- Candidates who return the completed questionnaire on time will be contacted to schedule a special meeting of the Electoral Committee. This meeting will be announced to the membership with at least two weeks notice. Each candidate will be allotted thirty minutes to answer questions from chapter members.
- After the candidate finishes answering questions, committee members who are eligible to vote under the Electoral Committee charter will hold a discussion covering the following:
- Can the candidate do what we expect/ask of them?
- Do they reflect DSA values and will they promote the socialist cause/positions?
- Based on our understanding of electoral organizing, can they win?
- CDDSA members not eligible to vote may observe, as per the committee charter, but not participate in discussion. All others, including the candidate(s), will be asked to leave the meeting. A non-binding poll will be held to establish both the opinion of the committee and the degree of dissenting opinion.
- The committee will prepare a majority opinion statement on the basis of the above points of discussion for distribution to chapter membership. If the dissenting opinion is greater than 20%, a minority opinion statement will also be prepared and distributed.
- A special Chapter meeting will be scheduled and held within a month, unless a Chapter meeting is already scheduled within a month. This meeting will have designated time for chapter members to express opinions on endorsement. Members may also submit a written pro- or anti-endorsement statement to be read aloud during the meeting by a proxy reader. After discussion, the question of whether to endorse will be voted on at the chapter level. There must be a quorum as defined in the chapter bylaws. A candidate must receive two-thirds of the vote held at this meeting to receive chapter endorsement.