How to Run for Local Office

Elections for local offices are held the first Tuesday in April every year. Elected offices for the Town of Cottage Grove include the Town Board (one Chairperson and four Town Supervisors) and the Municipal Judge. Town Board terms run for two years and are staggered, with the Chairperson and Supervisors 1 and 2 elected in odd years, Supervisors 3 and 4 elected in even years. Town Supervisors are elected to a specific seat (1 - 4) but do not represent any particular district. The Municipal Judge term is 4 years, with the current term beginning on May 1, 2019.

Candidates for Town of Cottage Grove elected offices are selected by the Nomination Paper method. Candidates may begin circulating nomination papers no earlier than December 1st in the year preceding the election. Completed Nomination Papers (with at least 20 signatures of Town residents), a Campaign Registration Statement, and Declaration of Candidacy must all be turned in to the Clerk by 5:00 P.M. on the first Tuesday in January (or Wednesday, if Tuesday is a holiday).  If more than two candidates turn completed nomination papers for the same office, a primary election will be held on the third Tuesday of February.

Placement (order) of candidate names on the ballot will be determined by a random drawing at a time and location noticed by the Clerk.

Detailed instructions for candidates can be found on the Ballot Access Checklist linked below, which is updated each year.

In addition to the above, Municipal Judge candidates must also complete and submit a Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission office using the website, no later than the third day following the deadline for nomination papers, or the candidate’s name will not appear on the ballot. Wis. Stat. §§ 8.10(5), 8.30(3), 19.43(4).

For more information on running for local office, see

For more information on campaign finance reporting requirements, see