§3-8-5e. Pre-candidacy financing and expenditures.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, it is lawful for a person, otherwise qualified to be a candidate for any public office or position to be determined by public election, to receive contributions or make expenditures, or both personally or by another individual acting as a treasurer, to determine the advisability of becoming such a candidate or preparing to be such a candidate: Provided, That an individual may file his or her pre-candidacy papers, and may receive contributions and make expenditures related thereto, beginning on the day after the general election is held for the term of office immediately preceding the term of office for which the person may become a candidate, if such term of office is four years or less: Provided, however, That such pre-candidacy papers may be filed, such contributions may be received, and such expenditures may be made only during the four years immediately preceding the term of office for which such person may be a candidate, if such term of office is more than four years: Provided further, That no person is disqualified from receiving contributions or making expenditures as permitted under the provisions of this section solely because such person then holds a public office or position.

(b) Any person undertaking to determine the advisability of becoming or preparing to be a candidate, who desires to receive contributions before filing a certificate of candidacy, shall designate himself or another individual to act as a treasurer and shall file a designation of treasurer in the manner provided in §3-8-4 of this code before receiving any contributions permitted by this section. Any expenditures made before the filing of a designation of treasurer shall be reported in accordance with the provisions of §3-8-5 of this code regardless of the source of funds used for such expenditures.

(c) A person who receives a contribution who is acting for and by himself or herself or as treasurer or agent for another pursuant to the provisions of this section shall keep detailed accounts of every sum of money or other thing of value received by him or her, and of all expenditures and disbursements made, and liabilities incurred, in the same manner as such accounts are required by §3-8-5 of this code.

(d) Regardless of whether such person becomes a candidate as originally intended, becomes a candidate for some office other than the office or position originally intended, or does not become a candidate, all limits on campaign contributions and campaign expenditures applicable to the candidacy of or advocacy of the candidacy of such person for the office he or she actually seeks shall be applicable to and inclusive of the receipts had and expenditures made during such pre-candidacy period as well as after the person becomes a candidate.