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Campaign Finance Guide
Section 3: Political Committees

What is a Political Committee?
(DC Official Code § 1-1101.01(5))

A political committee is a proposer, individual, committee (including a principal campaign committee), club, association, organization or other group of individuals organized for the purpose of, or engaged in, promoting or opposing a political party, the nomination or election of an individual to office, or any initiative, referendum or recall.

A political committee is either an authorized or an unauthorized committee. An authorized committee means the principal campaign committee or any other political committee is authorized and designated by a candidate on the Statement of Candidacy form to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of such candidate. An unauthorized committee is any other political committee, which has not been designated by a candidate.

Political Committee Registration Requirements
(DC Official Code § 1-1102.04)

All political committees, authorized or unauthorized, including campaign committees, independent or political action committees, and initiative, referendum or recall committees, must register with the Office of Campaign Finance and file a Statement of Organization form within ten (10) days of organization or designation by a candidate on the Statement of Candidacy form. A political committee must have a treasurer and a chairperson.

Political Committee Reporting Requirements
(DC Official Code § 1-1102.06)

The treasurer of each political committee must file a Report of Receipts and Expenditures on January 31st, and the 10th day of March, June, August, October, December, and 8 days preceding the date of each election, if the political committee is actively supporting candidates during the year in which an election is held. Political committees not supporting candidates during a year, in which an election is held, must file a Notification of Non-Support form with the Office of Campaign Finance on or before January 31st of the year in which an election is held. Reports must be filed by January 31st and July 31st from political committees filing Notifications of Non-Support and by all other political committees during a non-election year.

Surplus Funds
(DC Official Code § 1-1107.02)

An individual, who seeks nomination for election, or election to office, is required to dispose of any surplus, residual, or unexpended campaign funds. Surplus funds must be contributed to a political party for political purposes; used to retire the proper debts of the political committee which received the funds; or returned to the donors within six months following the election, in the case of an individual elected to office or defeated in an election; or within six months after an individual, ceasing to be a candidate, terminates his/her candidacy. Under certain circumstances, surplus funds may be donated to a charitable organization or a citizen-service fund.

Notice of Non-Support

By January 31st of each year, political committees that do not intend to support candidates during an election year must file Notifications of Non-Support. Political committees that file notices of non-support are also required to file a January 31st year-end and July 31st mid-year Report of Receipts and Expenditures as required by DC Official Code, Section 1-1102.06(a). A political committee must inform the Director of OCF in writing, within ten (10) days, of a change in the committee’s intention to not support a candidate during an election year. The political committee will then be required to file a Report of Receipts and Expenditures according to the mandated due dates.

Things to Remember

  • All political committees must register with the Office of Campaign Finance and file a Statement of Organization within ten (10) days of organization or designation by a candidate.
  • All political committees must file Reports of Receipts and Expenditures.
  • Surplus funds must be disposed of within certain prescribed time frames.