Paperwork Requirements for Filing as a Candidate for State Legislator

6/3/2015

Photo of a young man at his desk.Every state requires candidates to file paperwork to officially become a candidate. This paperwork serves a number of purposes. First, it notifies the state that the person intends to run for office. Second, it notifies the state campaign finance regulatory agency that the new candidate will be submitting finance reports. Third, it notifies the state that the filer is undergoing or has completed the necessary steps to have his or her name placed on the ballot.

The very act of completing filing paperwork is itself a qualification for running for office. Filing paperwork also serves a number of other purposes that are specific to that state’s goals. For example, some states require that candidates file a pledge of allegiance to either the state or, in the case where the filer is running as a party candidate, to the political party.

The paperwork that a candidate must file with the state differs from state to state. Most states require potential candidates to file a "declaration of candidacy," paperwork that signals their intent to run for office. A number of states also require that candidates concurrently file a statement of candidate committee organization, notifying the state of the formation of the candidate’s committee and its structure.

It should be noted that in some states one automatically becomes a candidate when spending or fundraising efforts cross a predetermined threshold, whether the proper paperwork has been filled out or not. This page does not provide details of these thresholds. For that information contact your state election officials.

Petitions containing a required number of signatures are often required by states. For petition requirements please see the NCSL webpage, Petition Requirements for Filing as a Candidate for State Legislature.

This page and the information contained within it are not intended to be a guide for potential candidates. To obtain information on how to run for office, please consult your local or state election officials, state election regulation authority or an attorney.

The chart below details the documents that each state requires potential candidates file as they become official candidates and are placed on the ballot. It includes information concerning requirements for both independent candidates and major partycandidates.

Paperwork Requirements for Candidates

State

Independent Candidates

Major Party Candidates

Alabama

  1. Appointment of principal campaign committee
  2. Statement of economic interest
  3. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Designation of filing agent
  3. Statement of economic interests
  4. Financial disclosure statement

Alaska

  1. Filing notification form
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement

Arizona

  1. Nomination petition
  2. Statement of organization
  3. Financial disclosure statement
  4. Nomination paper/ affidavit of qualification/ campaign finance laws statement
  1. Statement of organization for candidate
  2. Statement of committee organization
  3. Financial disclosure statement
  4. Nomination paper/ affidavit of qualification/ campaign finance laws statement

Arkansas*

  1. Political practice pledge
  2. Affidavit of eligibility
  1. Affidavit of eligibility
  2. Party pledge
  3. Party certificate
  4. Political practice pledge

California

  1. Candidate affidavit
  2. Personal financial disclosure
  3. Public announcement of candidacy
  1. Candidate intention statement
  2. Declaration of Candidacy
  3. Statement of organization
  4. Statement of economic interests

Colorado

  1. Candidate affidavit
  2. Personal financial disclosure
  3. Public announcement of candidacy
  1. Committee Registration
  2. Candidate affidavit
  3. Personal financial disclosure
  4. Public announcement of candidacy

Connecticut

  1. Application for nominating petition
  1. Local party officials determine how to qualify as a major political party candidate

Delaware

  1. Certificate of unaffiliation
  2. Candidate filing form
  1. Candidate filing form

Florida

  1. Appointment of campaign treasurer and designated of campaign depository
  2. Candidate oath
  3. Full and public disclosure of financial interests
  4. Statement of candidate
  1. Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository
  2. Candidate Oath
  3. Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests
  4. Statement of Candidate

Georgia

  1. Valid photo ID
  2. Notice of candidacy & affidavit
  1. Valid Photo I.D.
  2. Declaration of Candidacy and Affidavit
  3. GOP Oath of Allegiance (GOP only)

Hawaii

  1. Nomination paper
  2. Disclosure of financial interests
  1. Nomination paper
  2. Disclosure of financial interests

Idaho

  1. Appointment and certification of political treasurer
  2. Declaration of candidacy
  1. Appointment and certification of political treasurer
  2. Declaration of candidacy

Illinois

  1. Statement of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interests
  1. Statement of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interests
  3. Loyalty oath (optional)

Indiana

  1. Consent of independent or minor political party candidate nominated by petition
  2. Petition of Nomination for Federal, State, State Legislature, or Local Office
  1. Petition of Nomination for Federal, State, State Legislature, or Local Office

Iowa

  1. Affidavit of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Affidavit of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement

Kansas

  1. Appointment of treasurer form
  1. Appointment of treasurer form

Kentucky

  1. Statement of candidacy
  2. Appointment of campaign treasurer
  3. File letter of intent (if more than 1 year out)
  1. Notification and declaration
  2. Appointment of campaign treasurer
  3. Letter of intent (if more than 1 year out)

Louisiana

  1. Notice of candidacy
  2. Nominating petition forms
  1. Notice of candidacy form
  2. Nominating petition forms

Maine

  1. Non-party candidate consent form
  2. Candidate registration form
  3. Declaration of intent form (MCEA only)
  4. 60 qualifying donations (MCEA only)
  1. Certificate of candidate enrollment
  2. Candidate consent form
  3. Candidate registration form
  4. 60 qualifying donations (MCEA only)
  5. Declaration of intent (MCEA only)

Maryland

  1. Declaration of intent
  2. Statement of organization
  3. Financial disclosure form
  1. Certificate of candidacy
  2. Statement of organization
  3. Financial disclosure form
  4. Declaration of intent
  5. Certificate of nomination

Massachusetts

  1. Nomination Papers
  2. Certificate proving they are a registered voter and not enrolled in a political party
  3. Statement of financial interest
  4. Statement with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance
  1. Nomination Papers
  2. Statement of financial interest
  3. Statement with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance

Michigan

  1. Affidavit of identity
  2. Statement of committee organization
  1. Affidavit of identity
  2. Statement of committee organization

Minnesota

  1. Affidavit of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interest
  3. Campaign committee registration form
  1. Affidavit of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interest
  3. Campaign committee registration form

Mississippi

  1. Qualifying statement of intent
  1. Statement of intent for party nomination

Missouri

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Proof of identity
  3. Affidavit concerning taxes
  1. Receipt of filing fee payment
  2. Proof of identity
  3. Affidavit concerning taxes

Montana

  1. Declaration of nomination
  2. Reporting form c-5
  3. Statement of candidate
  4. Candidate campaign finance report
  1. Declaration of nomination
  2. Reporting form c-5
  3. Statement of candidate
  4. Candidate campaign finance report

Nebraska

  1. Candidate filing form
  2. Statement of financial interest
  1. Candidate filing form
  2. Statement of financial interest

Nevada

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  1. Declaration of Candidacy

New Hampshire

  1. Declaration of intent
  2. Assent to candidacy
  3. Financial disclosure form
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Assent to candidacy
  3. Financial disclosure form

New Jersey

  1. Certificate of qualification for office
  2. Statement concerning criminal convictions
  3. Acceptance of nomination
  4. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Certificate of qualification for office
  2. Statement concerning criminal convictions
  3. Oath of allegiance
  4. Financial disclosure statement

New Mexico

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  3. Certificate of designation

New York

  1. Independent nominating petition
  1. Designating petition; or
  2. Independent nominating petition

North Carolina

  1. Notice of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interest
  3. Party affiliation certificate
  1. Notice of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interest
  3. Party affiliation certificate

North Dakota

  1. Affidavit of candidacy
  2. Statement of interests
  1. Certificate of endorsement (if method chosen)
  2. Affidavit of candidacy
  3. Statement of interests

Ohio

  1. Statement of candidacy
  1. Statement of candidacy

Oklahoma

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  1. Declaration of candidacy

Oregon

  1. Candidate filing form
  2. Statement of organization
  1. Candidate filing form
  2. Statement of organization

Pennsylvania

  1. Candidate affidavit
  2. Statement of financial interests
  1. Candidate affidavit
  2. Nomination paper
  3. Statement of financial interest

Rhode Island

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Nomination papers (petition)
  3. Notice of organization
  4. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Nomination papers/Petition (either endorsed or unendorsed)
  3. Notice of organization
  4. Financial disclosure statement

South Carolina

  1. Statement of economic interest
  2. Statement of intention of candidacy
  1. Statement of intention of candidacy/party pledge
  2. Statement of economic interest

South Dakota

  1. Statement of financial interest
  2. Declaration of candidacy
  1. Statement of financial interest
  2. Declaration of candidacy

Tennessee

  1. Nomination petition
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Nomination petition
  2. Financial disclosure statement

Texas

  1. Declaration of intent to run as an independent candidate
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  1. Application of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement

Utah

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  1. Declaration of candidacy

Vermont

  1. Statement of nomination
  2. Consent of candidate form
  1. Nomination petition
  2. Consent of candidate form

Virginia

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Statement of economic interests
  3. Certificate of qualification
  4. Statement of organization for candidate
  1. Statement of organization for candidate
  2. Certificate of candidate qualifications
  3. Declaration of candidacy
  4. Statement of economic interests
  5. Receipt of payment of filing fee

Washington

  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  3. Voter’s pamphlet statement and photo
  1. Declaration of candidacy
  2. Financial disclosure statement
  3. Voter’s pamphlet statement & photo

West Virginia

  1. Pre-candidacy form
  2. Certificate of announcement
  3. Financial disclosure statement
  4. Official credentials form
  1. Pre-candidacy form
  2. Certificate of announcement
  3. Financial disclosure statement

Wisconsin

  1. Campaign registration statement
  2. Declaration of candidacy
  3. Memorandum regarding felony convictions
  4. Nomination paper
  5. Statement of economic interest
  6. Campaign committee registration form
  1. Campaign registration statement
  2. Declaration of candidacy
  3. Memorandum regarding felony convictions
  4. Nomination paper
  5. Statement of economic interests
  6. Campaign committee registration form

Wyoming

  1. Statement of committee formation
  1. Statement of committee formation
  2. Application for nomination by political party

* Arkansas is the only state that requires candidates to sign a Campaign Fair Practice Pledge. Seven other states—California, Iliinois, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Texas and West Virginia—offer the candidate the option of signing a Campaign Fair Practice Pledge. Check out NCSL’s December LegisBrief, Reducing Lies in Elections for more on how states deal with fair campaign practices.

About This NCSL Project

NCSL tracks election and campaign issues in four major categories: election laws and procedures, campaign finance, initiative and referendum, and election results and analysis. We provide comprehensive 50-state research and analysis on a wide variety of topics related to these issues.

For redistricting, NCSL provides similar data that covers redistricting laws, commissions and litigation.

Additionally, NCSL's Redistricting and Elections Standing Committee works on issues that affect all states, including voting technology and redistricting systems and technology.

If you don't find the information you need, please contact our elections team at 303-364-7700 or elections-info@ncsl.org. NCSL staff can do specialized searches for legislators and legislative staff.

Additional Resources