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Campaign Finance Guide
Section 6: Exploratory Committee

What are Exploratory Committees?
(DC Official Code § 1-1151.01)

Exploratory committees are formed solely for the purpose of determining the feasibility of an individual’s candidacy for office. The activities of exploratory committees may include polling, travel, and telephone calls to determine whether the individual should become a candidate. The name of the potential candidate must be included in the name of the committee.

Reporting Requirements for Exploratory Committees
(DC Official Code § 1-1151.02 (b))

Each exploratory committee must file an informational report semiannually, on January 31st and July 31st; and on the last day of each month within the 12 month period of an election for the office which is under consideration by the exploratory committee.

Exploratory Committee Contribution Limits
(DC Official Code § 1-1151.04)

Individual and aggregate contributions are limited for: Mayor, $2000/ $200,000; Council Chair, $1500/ $150,000; At-large Council Member, $1000/ $100,000; Ward Council Member or Board of Education President, $500/ $50,000; and Board of Education Member/ $200/ $20,000.

Things to Remember

  • Exploratory committees are subject to the reporting requirements of the Campaign Finance Act where formed for the sole purpose of determining the feasibility of an individual’s candidacy for office.
  • If the named individual of an exploratory committee becomes a candidate, the individual must review all previously received contributions to determine whether contribution limitations have been exceeded, and if so, refunds must be made immediately.