Political Profile for California

2023-2024 Limits to Campaign Contributions

All gubernatorial candidates are limited to accepting $36,400 per donor, per election cycle.

All other statewide candidates are limited to accepting $9,100 per donor ($18,200 if the donor is a PAC) per election cycle.

All legislative candidates are limited to accepting $5,500 per donor ($10,900 if the donor is a PAC) per election cycle.

Statewide and legislative candidates may receive unlimited contributions from state parties.

Filing Deadlines

Candidates are required to file detailed reports on their campaign donations and expenditures to the California Secretary of State. Transparency USA provides accurate, searchable data once the reports are made available. 

See California’s campaign finance report deadlines here.

Additional reports may be required from California filers. If a report is skipped (often because its deadline is close to another), the data from that report is captured in the next update.

The California State Legislature

Each two-year session, the legislature convenes for an organizational meeting in December, recesses until January, then is in session year-round.

Members of the California State Assembly serve two-year terms, with a limit of three terms. 

Members of the California State Senate serve four-year terms, with a limit of two terms.

Statewide Officer Term Limits

California statewide office holders (such as the governor and lieutenant governor) serve four-year terms and are up for reelection in non-presidential election years. They are limited to two lifetime terms in office.

How We Display California Campaign Finance Data

Campaign finance is complex, with reporting practices that vary widely from state to state. As a reporting system — and not a balance sheet — contributions and expenditures do not balance the way we’d expect if it were an accounting system. In most cases, this does not mean that the data is incomplete, but rather, that entities are following California’s unique reporting requirements. 

To help put the numbers in context, we’ve created a state-specific explanation of how we display information reported. Click the link below for a more detailed description of California campaign finance data and how their unique system is displayed on TUSA:

Data Explanation for California