The City of Novato has changed the way that City Councilmembers are elected with the adoption of Ordinance 1650. Previously, all five Councilmembers we elected at-large, meaning that all registered voters who reside in Novato had the opportunity to vote for all five City Council positions.
Under the new district-based election system, all five Councilmembers will be elected by district. Councilmembers will be required to live in the district that they represent and will be elected only by the registered voters of that district. All five Councilmembers will continue to participate and vote on citywide matters regardless of what district they represent.
Novato Local Elections
The local elections on November 5, 2019 will include Districts 1, 3 & 5. Only voters residing in these districts will be voting to elect one Councilmember for their district to serve a 5-year term.
Voters residing in Districts 2 and 4 will vote for their district's Councilmembers in the 2022 local elections. Currently, the Councilmembers residing in these districts were voted into office in November 2017 for 5-year terms.
How to Run For City Council
To run for a seat on the Novato City Council, there are three requirements. A candidate must be a:
- registered voter,
- U.S. Citizen, at least 18 years of age,
- resident in the district (see What’s My District? below).
File a Nomination with the City Clerk. The Nomination Filing Period is from July 15, 2019 through August 9, 2019. If an incumbent does not file his or her paperwork for re-election, then all candidates in the incumbent’s district have an extended filing period from August 10, 2019 through August 14, 2019.
Forms will not be accepted after the nomination period ends.
Upon receipt of the nomination, the City Clerk sends the candidate a packet providing instructions, documents, and information such as:
- circulating your nominating petition,
- declaring your candidacy,
- working on your ballot designation,
- filing campaign statements,
- ·other required information.
Chapter 2 (2.4) of the Novato Municipal Code requires a candidate pay a $25 processing fee. The city accepts checks only, payable to the City of Novato.
To receive a nomination packet, please schedule an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office at 415-899-8902.
After you receive the nomination packet, required forms must be returned by the due dates shown above.
Candidates & Campaign Disclosure Filings
The candidates and their financial statements for the November 5, 2019 local elections are available below. If the candidate's name is bold, that means the County has certified that person is ineligible to run for City Council.
Jim Petray (District 1)
Eric Lucan (District 3)
Kevin Morrison (District 3)
Marie Hoch (District 5)
What's My District?
Check out the interactive map tool below to see which district you live in.
Why did the City of Novato transition to district elections?
In February 2019, the City received a letter from an attorney, alleging racially-polarized voting in Novato. Pursuant to California Elections Code section 10010, a city can avoid even the filing of a lawsuit if, within 45 days of receiving a demand letter, it adopts a resolution of intention to move to district-based elections and, within 90 days thereafter, it adopts a district map for use in future elections. Although the City in no way concedes the allegations in the demand letter, and in order to avoid the high cost and burden of needless litigation, on March 12, 2019, the City Council adopted a resolution outlining its intention to transition from at-large to district-based elections, including specific steps the City would undertake to facilitate the transition, and an estimated timeframe for doing so. On May 21, 2019, the City Council adopted Ordinance 1650, which created the new district-based election system. A copy of the adopted map is provided with the ordinance.
All five Councilmembers will be elected by district. Councilmembers will be required to live in the district that they represent and will be elected only by the registered voters of that district. All five Councilmembers will continue to participate and vote on citywide matters regardless of what district they represent.