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Texas Political Candidate Filing Window Now Open

- TAB Resources Online, Webinar on Jan. 16

The Texas political candidate filing window opened this past weekend and will close at 6pm on Monday, Dec. 11. This is the period when an individual can become a “legally qualified candidate” which is an important distinction for broadcasters as most of the FCC’s political broadcast regulations apply only to legally qualified candidates. 

Someone seeking a congressional seat may have filed an FEC Form 2, Statement of Candidacy, or formally announced a run for a congressional or statehouse seat, but until they take the steps necessary to secure a place on the ballot, they are not considered a legally qualified candidate in the FCC’s eyes. In Texas this means filing candidacy papers with the Secretary of State’s office, as well as paying the filing fee.

The 2024 election year will feature only the presidential and U.S. Senate races as the statewide contests in Texas. The other statewide offices are not up for election until 2026.  All 38 U.S. House seats and all 150 Texas House seats are up for election.  Fifteen of the 31 Texas Senate seats will be up for election as well as a smattering of seats on the State Board of Education, Railroad Commission, Texas Supreme Court, and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Various offices are up for election at the county level.  

A complete list of offices up for election in 2024 is available in the Legal Guides/Hotline portion of the Members section of the TAB website.  Station staff will need to login to view the Legal Guides/Hotline page. Forgot your password? Reset it here. Don't have an account? Create one now!   

Questions on accessing the Members Services sections of  Contact TAB.

Other TAB Political Broadcasting Resources Available

TAB’s Political Broadcasting Advisory and TAB Political Forms, both prepared by the staff of TAB’s FCC legal counsel Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, are also available in the Members section. The guide incorporates FCC rule changes, federal law updates and FCC decisions in the political broadcasting realm in recent years.

TAB’s Political Forms capture all the political recordkeeping information the FCC requires related to candidate and issue advertising. This information is then uploaded to a station’s online public inspection file to satisfy FCC regulations. The TAB forms serve the same function as the NAB’s political forms which are copyrighted. The TAB political forms and legal guide are free to TAB member stations to download.

You’ll also find the 2023-24 Texas political dates calendar and recent editions of TAB’s Political Update emails in the Members section too. 

What is the TAB Political Update email?  

This TAB Member service is intended to help station sales staff project political advertising revenue and assist station newsrooms in planning coverage of the 2024 election year. TAB sends these email updates on an “as needed” basis so station staff can keep abreast of political developments.

The first two updates for the 2024 election year have already been sent to station GMs, NDs and sales managers.  Is there someone else at your station who should be receiving TAB Political Update emails?   Send us their email address and TAB will add them to the distribution list.

Save the Date: Political Webinar Jan. 16

To help broadcasters better understand their obligations under the FCC’s Political Broadcast rules, TAB will present a free TAB member station webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. Registration for the event will open in December. Attorneys Scott and Laurie Flick of TAB’s FCC counsel, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, will review: 

  • Reasonable Access
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Lowest Unit Charge
  • No Censorship
  • Sponsorship Identification
  • Recordkeeping/Disclosure Regarding Political Advertisement Requests

This webinar will also cover the additional sponsorship identification requirement for political advertising contained in the Texas Election Code. This online session will be recorded and available to members a few days after the webinar.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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