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 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 by the filing deadline which is 64 days before the primary election. They are available at the municipal clerk's offices at Witherspoon Hall. The clerk will also supply information about the requirements for signatures and the number of signatures required -- which is about 50 but it varies according to election turnout in the previous election. Information about rules governing financial contributions and record-keeping are available at the candidate resource page of the New Jersey Division of Elections Website.

To be considered for endorsement by the PCDO, potential candidates should contact the president of the PCDO two weeks before the endorsement meeting at the latest. 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 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. Candidates who win at least 40% of ballots cast will receive a recommendation to appear in the same column as the endorsed candidates.  (Note that placement and order of candidates' names on the election ballot are determinded by the County Chair, who takes the 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 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 voting district, plus the chair and vice chair of the committee.

Municipal Party Committee Chair and information:

  • Peter Wolanin is the chair of the Princetin Municipal Democratic Committee -- to contact him, click here or call 759-1075. The Princeton Democratic Party Committee also holds an endorsement vote, which takes place at a meeting on the night following the PCDO endorsement meeting. Candidates are encouraged to contact Peter for a list of committee people or get one from the municipal clerk in order to contact the committee people before the vote. 

New Jersey Division of Elections Website