Endorsement Recommendation Program

An important element of the CFA’s political program is the endorsement of candidates who actively support our organizational goals in state government. Candidate endorsements pledge to a campaign the support of the entire organization through member communication, contributions, and/or campaign involvement.

CFA’s Endorsement Recommendation program is designed to provide maximum input from all CFA campuses and members. The campus interviewing process is critical in developing CFA’s political and legislative programs. Information derived from the candidate interviews is useful once a candidate, whether endorsed or not, is elected to office. While the procedures governing CFA’s endorsement process may appear complex, the process is relatively simple.

The Endorsement Process:  From Campus to CFA Board of Directors

CFA’s campus endorsement program begins with each Campus Political Action & Legislation (PA/LEG) Committee interviewing candidates for designated legislative districts. Following candidate interviews, the campus forwards an endorsement recommendation to the State Political Action & Legislative Committee for consideration.

The PA/LEG Committee then recommends endorsement for legislative candidates, initiatives, and constitutional officers to the CFA Board of Directors. These recommendations are based on campus reports, affiliate endorsements, and other relative political information.  When the Board of Directors approves the recommendation, the candidate is officially endorsed and a letter is sent to the candidate. If an endorsed candidate is defeated in a primary election or if more than one endorsed candidate wins in the same primary election, consultation with the designated campus shall be sought before a subsequent endorsement is made.

Click here to download a PDF of the 2017-18 Campus/Legislative District Chart which lists the districts that campuses are responsible for lobbying and conducting candidate interviews.

Click here to download a PDF of the Candidate Interview Checklist which provides a list of DO’s and DON’Ts for your campus interview team.

Click here to download a PDF of the sample CFA Candidate Questionnaire so you can view the type of questions we’re asking of candidates being considered for endorsement.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to interview incumbents who have been friends of CFA in the past?

No. However, it’s always a good idea to maintain contact with CFA’s legislative champions to let them know how much CFA appreciates their work on behalf of the faculty, and to learn how CFA may help in a reelection campaign.

Which elections will my campus cover?

The California Legislature contains 120 legislative district representatives; 40 members comprise the California State Senate, 80 members comprise the California State Assembly. Each legislative district is assigned to at least one CFA campus based on geography. CFA’s Government Relation’s team will provide each campus PA/LEG Committee with a list of elections held in your area of responsibility. 

How do I contact the candidates running for a particular seat?

With the exception of incumbent elected officials running for re-election which CFA has previously endorsed, each legislative candidate up for consideration of CFA’s endorsement will be asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on key issues. Upon receipt of all completed questionnaires by candidates in a legislative seat, CFA’s Political Organizer will provide a copy of each questionnaire to the responsible campus leadership along with contact information for each candidate. CFA campus leadership should then schedule interviews with those candidates  to make an endorsement recommendation to the CFA PA/Leg Committee. Campus PA/LEG Committees should strive to schedule in-person interviews for a particular legislative seat on the same day and with the same group of faculty. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to CFA’s Political Organizer at (916) 441-4848.

Is there a timeline for interviewing during an election year?

Yes. Timely endorsements are necessary and useful for both the candidate and CFA. CFA’s support can not be given to a candidate until the entire process, from chapter recommendation to Board approval, is completed.  The process can take up to three months. Candidates want and need early support in the campaign to demonstrate strength to their opponents. CFA needs the timely endorsement for effective member communication. The CFA Government Relations team regularly publishes an election calendar and will contact both Chapter Presidents and Campus PA/Leg Chairs regarding the election calendars.

What information do we seek from the candidate as a result of the interview?

Each candidate will be asked to complete a questionnaire focusing on key issues; this questionnaire will be provided to the chapter in advance of candidate interviews. CFA needs to know the candidate’s view of the role of collective bargaining, in general, and collective bargaining for the California State University faculty in particular. CFA also needs to know about the candidate’s view of the role of and funding for higher education in California’s economy. Other important topics covered include diversity, student fees and academic freedom.

Are campus endorsement recommendations limited to California legislative offices?

No. Although candidates for state constitutional offices are interviewed directly by the State PA/LEG Committee, any Campus PA/LEG Committee can submit endorsement recommendations for these offices and statewide initiatives to the State Committee for consideration.

If you have any questions or need more detailed information on CFA’s Endorsement Program, contact CFA’s Political Organizer at (916) 441-4848 or email