Elected Office 101 Resources for Candidates Considering Local Office

Did you know:

In April 2019, Bayfield & Ashland County voters will elect more than 150 local officials. Currently, 20% of the region’s locally elected decision-makers are women, 80% are men. While voter choice is the backbone of democracy, most candidates will run unopposed.If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a candidate for local offices, here are some resources you can use to learn more about the election process. Whether it’s a town, city, village, county, or school board position you’re interested in there are resources to help you get started.

The Ashland and Bayfield Counties UW-Extension offices are compiling a list of local elected officials who would like to help new candidates get started. Contact a Community Development educator in your county to help you connect to an experienced local person who loves serving as an elected official and has knowledge and tools to share with you.

Resources for New Candidates!

UW-Extension research on why people don’t run for elected offices.

Research results about why women don’t run for office.

UW-Extension’s Local Government Center This center offers resources for candidates running for local offices.

Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC): Resources for officials on conducting local elections and information for voters. They also have local nonpartisan election how-to information.

Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA) “Empowering town officials.” The best place to get started is to open the “Information Library” tab and then click on “Elections.”

Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) “Protecting the Interests of County Government since 1935”.

Roberts Rules video training about parliamentary procedure for running governmental meetings (15 minutes)

Wisconsin Policy Forum: The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a nonpartisan, independent statewide policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison; its mission is to provide informed, nonpartisan analysis of critical policy issues affecting local governments, school districts, and the state of Wisconsin.

How to Run for Local Elected Office in Wisconsin.” This guide takes new candidates through each step to prepare for an election bid.


If you’re interested in learning more about how to run as a candidate for a local office, please click on these nominations documents and guidelines below that apply to any county’s candidates. Thanks to Heather Schutte and Scott Fibert, the county clerks in Ashland and Bayfield counties, for their help with local paperwork processes and documents!


Here’s a guidebook for how to run a caucus election process from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The following municipalities in Bayfield County have caucus elections:  Barksdale, Town of Bayfield, Bayview, Bell, Clover, Eileen, Hughes, Kelly, Keystone, Town of Mason, Orienta, Oulu, Pilsen, Port Wing, Russell, Tripp, Village of Mason

The following municipalities in Ashland County have caucus elections: Town of Sanborn, Bad River Tribe