Elections & Endorsements

The PCDO holds endorsement votes for elected offices in the Spring before the June primary.

Endorsement votes take place at a general membership meeting and are governed by PCDO bylaws.

The endorsement vote for county and state elections will be scheduled to take place before the Mercer County Democratic Convention, which is usually held in March.  The local municipal endorsement vote may or may not take place at the same meeting. Watch the PCDO website calendar for the dates of the meetings.  For members to vote, their dues must be paid two weeks in advance of the meeting. 

How to become a local candidate: Official municipal candidate petitions, completed with a certain number of valid signatures, are required by state law for a candidate to appear on the June Primary election ballot and must be turned in to the municipal clerk by the filing deadline, which is 64 days before the primary election. For 2018 the date is April 2.  Petitions are available for download on the municipal website. The signature requirements, usually about 50, are also posted. Information about rules governing financial contributions and record-keeping are available at the NJ Election Law Enforcement  website.  Candidates should identify a treasurer as it is not legal to spend any money, including for a mailing for an endorsement vote, without naming a treasurer and filing proper forms.

To be considered for the 2018 endorsement by the PCDO, potential candidates should contact the president of the PCDO, at the latest, two weeks before the endorsement. However, if there is going to be a contest, it is recommended that candidates start their "campaigns" for endorsement earlier. PCDO Bylaws allow each candidate one set of mailing labels and two opportunities to send email messages (as part of a group email) -- one prior to the PCDO endorsement meeting, and one prior to the June Primary. Candidates will also have the opportunity to participate in the endorsement meeting in March in which each gives a short statement and takes part in a question and answer session.

In order for any candidate to receive the endorsement, he or she must win 60% of the votes of those present and voting.  Note that column placement and order of candidates' names on the primary election ballot are determinded by the Mercer County Democratic Chair, who takes the PCDO endorsement vote into account but is not bound to do so by law.

It behooves candidates at all levels to ensure that their supporters in the PCDO have paid their dues ($5 minimum). In the past, candidates have recruited friends and supporters to join the PCDO in order to vote. The PCDO welcomes this as membership-building and as a way to keep the club from becoming entrenched.

Candidates should also contact the Democratic Municipal Party Chair. The municipal party committee, which along with the other municipal committees makes up the Mercer County Democratic Committee, is the official arm of the Democratic Party, whereby the PCDO is a “club,” or unaffiliated party organization.  The municipal party committee consists of one male and one female committee person who represent each Princeton voting district, plus the chair and vice chair of the committee.

Municipal Party Committee Chair and information:

Scotia MacRae is the chair of the Princetin Municipal Democratic Committee -- to contact her, click here or call 759-1075. The Princeton Democratic Party Committee holds its own endorsement vote, which takes place at a meeting on the night following the PCDO endorsement meeting.  As noted above, by law the Mercer County Democratic Chair determines primary election ballot placement, including which candidates are placed in the official Democratic Column. 

Candidates are encouraged to contact Scotia for a list of committee people or get one from the municipal clerk in order to contact the committee people before the vote.