City Elections and Nomination of Candidates

The City Clerk and the Dubuque County Auditor are responsible for making election information available to candidates requesting nomination papers for election to City office (Affidavit of Candidacy and Nomination Petition). Completed papers must be submitted to the Dubuque County Auditor's Office, Dubuque County Courthouse (4th Floor), 720 Central Avenue, Dubuque.

Nomination Papers

Candidates may begin collecting signatures at any time. Nomination papers must include the Affidavit of Candidacy and the Nomination Petition and cannot be accepted before the filing period begins or after 5:00 p.m. on the last day nomination papers can be filed with the Dubuque County Auditor.

Since Nomination papers must be filed with Dubuque County Auditor not more than 71 days and not less than 47 days before a regular City election, the Auditor's Office publishes an Election Calendar for each year, which specifies the type of election, election dates, and the candidate filing periods.

It is not necessary for the candidate to appear in person to file the nomination papers. Someone else may deliver the completed forms to the County Auditor.

Additional Resources
Candidate's Guides to City elections at Iowa Secretary of State website.
City Candidate's Guide through the Iowa League of Cities website.

Iowa Law provides cities with a variety of choices for the election of City officials. There are four nomination processes:
  • Primary election (candidates file nomination petitions)
  • Nomination by petition, with only one election (Chapter 45)
  • Nomination by convention, with only one election (Chapter 44)
  • Run-off election (candidates file nomination petitions)
The City Clerk must certify (to the County Auditor) the type of nomination process no later than 90 days before the regular City election. After certification, the nomination process cannot be changed unless the change will take effect after the regular City elections.