Qualifications for election to the 50 state senates

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This is a list of qualifications to run for office in all 50 state senates:

Alabama State Senate

Under Article IV, Section 47, of the Alabama Constitution, senators must be at least 25 years of age at the time of their election, must be citizens and residents of the State of Alabama for at least 3 years and residents of their district at least one year prior to election.[1]

Alaska State Senate

Article II, Section 2 of the Alaska Constitution states: A member of the legislature shall be a qualified voter who has been a resident of Alaska for at least three years and of the district from which elected for at least one year, immediately preceding his filing for office. A senator shall be at least twenty-five years of age.

Arizona State Senate

Article 4, Part 2, Section 2 of the Arizona Constitution states: No person shall be a member of the Legislature unless he shall be a citizen of the United States at the time of his election, nor unless he shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and shall have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election.

Arkansas State Senate

Article 5, Section 4 of the Arkansas Constitution states: No person shall be a Senator or Representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, nor any one who has not been for two years next preceding his election, a resident of this State, and for one year next preceding his election, a resident of the county or district whence he may be chosen. Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and Representatives at least twenty-one years of age.

California State Senate

According to Article IV of the California Constitution, the candidate must be a United States Citizen, a resident of California for three years, a resident of the legislative district for one year and a registered voter in that district by the time nomination papers are filed.[2]

Colorado State Senate

Article 5, Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution states: No person shall be a representative or senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-five years, who shall not be a citizen of the United States, who shall not for at least twelve months next preceding his election, have resided within the territory included in the limits of the county or district in which he shall be chosen; provided, that any person who at the time of the adoption of this constitution, was a qualified elector under the territorial laws, shall be eligible to the first general assembly.

Connecticut State Senate

Article III, Section 3 of the Connecticut Constitution states: The senate shall consist of not less than thirty and not more than fifty members, each of whom shall be an elector residing in the senatorial district from which he is elected. Each senatorial district shall be contiguous as to territory and shall elect no more than one senator.

Delaware State Senate

Article II, Section 3 of the Delaware Constitution states: No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of twenty-seven years and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State three years next preceding the day of his election and the last year of that term an inhabitant of the Senatorial District in which he shall be chosen, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this State.

Florida State Senate

To run for the Florida State Senate, candidates must be 21 years old, have lived in Florida for two years and live in the district they intend to serve.[3]

Georgia State Senate

According to the Georgia Constitution, Georgia Senators must be at least 25 years old, American citizens, Georgia citizens for at least two years and a resident of his or her Senatorial District for at least one year immediately preceding election.

Hawaii State Senate

From Article III, Section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution: No person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the senate unless the person has been a resident of the State for not less than three years, has attained the age of majority and is, prior to filing nomination papers and thereafter continues to be, a qualified voter of the senatorial district from which the person seeks to be elected; except that in the year of the first general election following reapportionment, but prior to the primary election, an incumbent senator may move to a new district without being disqualified from completing the remainder of the incumbent senator's term.

Idaho State Senate

Article III, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution states: No person shall be a senator or representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and an elector of this state, nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding his election an elector of the county or district whence he may be chosen.

Illinois State Senate

Article IV of the Illinois Constitution states: To be eligible to serve as a member of the General Assembly, a person must be a United States citizen, at least 21 years old, and for the two years preceding his election or appointment a resident of the district which he is to represent.

Indiana State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Indiana State Senate, a candidate must be:[4]

  • A United States citizen at the time of election
  • Have resided in the state for at least two years and in the senate district for at least one year before the election
  • Be at least twenty-five (25) years old upon taking office;
  • Registered to vote in the election district the person seeks to represent not later than the deadline for filing the declaration or petition of candidacy or certificate of nomination

Iowa State Senate

The Iowa Constitution states, "Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as representatives; they shall be twenty-five years of age, and possess the qualifications of representatives as to residence and citizenship."[5]

Kansas State Senate

Section 4 of Article 2 of the Kansas Constitution states, "During the time that any person is a candidate for nomination or election to the legislature and during the term of each legislator, such candidate or legislator shall be and remain a qualified elector who resides in his or her district."

Kentucky State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Kentucky State Senate, a candidate must be:[6]

  • At least 30 years of age at the time of the election
  • A citizen of Kentucky
  • Resided in the state 6 years preceding the election
  • Resided in the district for the last year

Louisiana State Senate

In order to run for office, the following qualifications are in place for candidates:[7]

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must be a resident of the district they seek to hold office to for a minimum of two years.
  • Must not have served more than two and one half terms previously in office. This is for any candidate who has held office in the past after January 8, 1996.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense.
  • Have no outstanding fines with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.
  • Pay a $225 filing fee with the Clerk of Court in the parish they reside in or collect 400 signatures.
  • If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay an additional $112.50 filing fee with the state and/or parish executive committee of their party.

Maine State Senate

Section 6 of Part 2 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "The Senators shall be 25 years of age at the commencement of the term, for which they are elected, and in all other respects their qualifications shall be the same as those of the Representatives."

Section 4 of Part 1 of Article 4 of the Maine Constitution states, "Qualifications; residency requirement. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, unless the person shall, at the commencement of the period for which the person is elected, have been 5 years a citizen of the United States, have arrived at the age of 21 years, have been a resident in this State one year; and for the 3 months next preceding the time of this person's election shall have been, and, during the period for which elected, shall continue to be a resident in the district which that person represents."

Maryland State Senate

Section 9 of Article 3 of the Maryland Constitution states, "A person is eligible to serve as a Senator or Delegate, who on the date of his election, (1) is a citizen of the State of Maryland, (2) has resided therein for at least one year next preceding that date, and (3) if the district which he has been chosen to represent has been established for at least six months prior to the date of his election, has resided in that district for six months next preceding that date.

If the district which the person has been chosen to represent has been established less than six months prior to the date of his election, then in addition to (1) and (2) above, he shall have resided in the district for as long as it has been established.

A person is eligible to serve as a Senator, if he has attained the age of twenty-five years, or as a Delegate, if he has attained the age of twenty-one years, on the date of his election.

Massachusetts State Senate

Article LXXI of the Massachusetts Constitution states: Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.

Michigan State Senate

Section 7 of Article 4 of the Michigan Constitution states, "Each senator and representative must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and an elector of the district he represents. The removal of his domicile from the district shall be deemed a vacation of the office. No person who has been convicted of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the legislature."

Minnesota State Senate

To be eligible to run for the Minnesota State Senate, a candidate must be:[8]

  • Eligible to vote in Minnesota
  • Have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election
  • At least 21 years old
  • A resident of Minnesota for at least one year
  • A resident of the legislative district for at least 6 months before the general election date

Mississippi State Senate

In order to run for the Mississippi State Senate, a candidate must:[9]

  • Be 25 years of age or older.
  • Be a qualified elector and resident of the State of Mississippi for four years.
  • Be a resident of the county or district a candidate plans to represent for two years.
  • If running as a Republican or Democrat, pay a $15 filing fee to the State Executive Committee of the party with which the candidate is affiliated.
  • If running as an independent, submit 50 signatures to the Circuit Clerk or the Secretary of State.

Missouri State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Missouri State Senate, a candidate must be:[10]

  • At least 30 years of age
  • Qualified Missouri voter for three years before election
  • Resident of the district which he is chosen to represent for 1 year before election
  • Is not delinquent in the payment of any state income taxes, personal property taxes, real property taxes on the place of residence as stated in the declaration of candidacy
  • is not a past or present corporate officer of any fee office that owes any taxes to the state.
  • Has not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor under the federal laws of the United States of America.
  • Has not been convicted of or found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under the laws of Missouri.
  • In addition to any other penalties provided by law, no person may file for any office in a subsequent election until he or the treasurer of his existing candidate committee has filed all required campaign disclosure reports for all prior elections.

Montana State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Montana State Senate, a candidate must be:[11]

  • A resident of the state for at least one year next preceding the general election
  • A resident of the county for six months preceding the general election if it contains one or more districts or of the district if it contains all or parts of more than one county.

Nebraska State Senate (Unicameral)

To be eligible to serve in the Nebraska Senate, a candidate must be:[12]

  • At least 21 years of age
  • A resident of Nebraska, and specifically a resident of the legislative district he or she wishes to serve, for at least one year prior to the general election
  • Must not have ever been convicted of a felony

Nevada State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Nevada State Senate, a candidate must be:[13]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 21 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A one-year resident of Nevada preceding the election
  • A resident for 30 days of the senate district from which elected at the filing deadline time
  • A qualified election. A qualified voter is someone who is:
* A U.S. citizen
* A resident of Nevada for at least 6 months prior to the next election, and 30 days in the district or county
* At least 18 years old by the next election

New Hampshire State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the New Hampshire Senate, a candidate must be:[14]

  • At least thirty years of age
  • A resident of the state for seven years immediately preceding the election
  • An inhabitant of the district for which they are chosen

New Jersey State Senate

Senators must be 30 years of age or older, have lived in the state for a minimum of four years, and have lived in the district they represent.

New Mexico State Senate

Article 4, Section 3 of the New Mexico Constitution states: Senators shall not be less than twenty-five years of age and representatives not less than twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. If any senator or representative permanently removes his residence from or maintains :No Residence in the district from which he was elected, then he shall be deemed to have resigned and his successor shall be selected as provided in Section 4 of this article. No person shall be eligible to serve in the legislature who, at the time of qualifying, holds any office of trust or profit with the state, county or national governments, except notaries public and officers of the militia who receive no salary.

New York State Senate

Article 3, Section 7 of the New York Constitution states: No person shall serve as a member of the legislature unless he or she is a citizen of the United States and has been a resident of the state of New York for five years, and, except as hereinafter otherwise prescribed, of the assembly or senate district for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election; if elected a senator or member of assembly at the first election next ensuing after a readjustment or alteration of the senate or assembly districts becomes effective, a person, to be eligible to serve as such, must have been a resident of the county in which the senate or assembly district is contained for the twelve months immediately preceding his or her election. No member of the legislature shall, during the time for which he or she was elected, receive any civil appointment from the governor, the governor and the senate, the legislature or from any city government, to an office which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.

North Carolina State Senate

Article 2, Section 6 of the North Carolina Constitution states: Each Senator, at the time of his election, shall be not less than 25 years of age, shall be a qualified voter of the State, and shall have resided in the State as a citizen for two years and in the district for which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election.

North Dakota State Senate

Article 4, Section 5 of the North Dakota Constitution states: State Senators and Representatives must be, on the day of the election, qualified voters in the district from which they are chosen and a resident of the state for one year preceding election to office.

Ohio State Senate

Article 2, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution states: Senators and representatives shall have resided in their respective districts one year next preceding their election, unless they shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this state.

Article 2, Section 5 of the Ohio Constitution states: No person hereafter convicted of an embezzlement of the public funds, shall hold any office in this state; nor shall any person, holding public money for disbursement, or otherwise, have a seat in the General Assembly, until he shall have accounted for, and paid such money into the treasury.

Oklahoma State Senate

Article 5, Section 17 of the Oklahoma Constitution states: Members of the Senate shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and members of the House of Representatives twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They shall be qualified electors in their respective counties or districts and shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their term of office.

Oregon State Senate

Article 4, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution states:

  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at the time of election is not a citizen of the United States; nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding the election an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen. However, for purposes of the general election next following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, the person must have been an inhabitant of the district from January 1 of the year following the reapportionment to the date of the election.
  • Senators and Representatives shall be at least twenty one years of age.
  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who has been convicted of a felony during:
    • The term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative; or
    • The period beginning on the date of the election at which the person was elected to the office of Senator or Representative and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected.
  • No person is eligible to be elected as a Senator or Representative if that person has been convicted of a felony and has not completed the sentence received for the conviction prior to the date that person would take office if elected. As used in this subsection, “sentence received for the conviction” includes a term of imprisonment, any period of probation or post-prison supervision and payment of a monetary obligation imposed as all or part of a sentence.
  • Notwithstanding sections 11 and 15, Article IV of this Constitution:
    • The office of a Senator or Representative convicted of a felony during the term to which the Senator or Representative was elected or appointed shall become vacant on the date the Senator or Representative is convicted.
    • A person elected to the office of Senator or Representative and convicted of a felony during the period beginning on the date of the election and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected shall be ineligible to take office and the office shall become vacant on the first day of the next term of office.
  • Subject to subsection (4) of this section, a person who is ineligible to be a Senator or Representative under subsection (3) of this section may:
    • Be a Senator or Representative after the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible; and
    • Be a candidate for the office of Senator or Representative prior to the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible.
  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or served on represent. A person shall not lose status as an inhabitant of a district if the person is absent from the district for purposes of business of the Legislative Assembly. Following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, until the expiration of the term of office of the person, a person may be an inhabitant of any district.

Pennsylvania State Senate

Under Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age and Representatives twenty-one years of age. They shall have been citizens and inhabitants of their respective districts one year next before their election (unless absent on the public business of the United States or of this State) and shall reside in their respective districts during their terms of service.

Rhode Island State Senate

Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution lays out the requirements for officeholders of Rhode Island's state government.

South Carolina State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the South Carolina State Senate a candidate must be:[15]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 21 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A resident of the district at the filing deadline time

South Dakota State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the South Dakota Senate, a candidate must be:[16]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 21 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A two-year resident of South Dakota at the filing deadline time
  • May not have been convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime; may not have illegally taken "public moneys"
  • A qualified voter. A qualified voter is someone who is:
* A U.S. citizen
* Reside in South Dakota
* At least 18 years old old on or before the next election
* Not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction which included imprisonment, served or suspended, in an adult penitentiary system
* Not be judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
* Not have served 4 consecutive terms

Tennessee State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Tennessee State Senate, a candidate must be:[17]

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 30 years old before the general election
  • A three-year resident of Tennessee before the general election
  • A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election
  • A qualified voter
  • The following situations would eliminate a candidate from qualifying for office:
    • Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law;
    • Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to this state, or any county thereof;
    • Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election, and the election of any such person shall be void;
    • Soldiers, seamen, marines, or airmen in the regular army or navy or air force of the United States; and
    • Members of congress, and persons holding any office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state of the union, or under the United States.

Texas State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Texas State Senate, a candidate must be:[18]

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 26 years old before the general election
  • A five-year resident of Texas before the general election
  • A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election

Utah State Senate

To be eligible to serve in the Utah State Senate, a candidate must be:[19]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 25 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A three-year resident of Utah at the filing deadline time
  • A resident for 6 months of the senate district from which elected at the filing deadline time
  • No person holding any public office of profit or trust under authority of the United States, or of this State, can be a member of the state senate, provided, that appointments in the State Militia, and the offices of notary public, justice of the peace, United States commissioner, and postmaster of the fourth class, shall not, within the meaning of this section, be considered offices of profit or trust.
  • A qualified voter. A qualified voter is someone who is:
* A U.S. citizen
* A resident of Utah for at least 30 days prior to the next election
* At least 18 years old by the next election
* His or her principal place of residence is in a specific voting precinct in Utah.

Vermont State Senate

The Vermont Constitution states, "No person shall be elected a Representative or a Senator until the person has resided in this State two years, the last year of which shall be in the legislative district for which the person is elected.."[20]

Virginia State Senate

Senators must be at least 21 years of age at the time of the election, residents of the district they represent, and qualified to vote for members of the Virginia General Assembly.[21]

Washington State Senate

Section 7 of Article 2 of the Washington State Constitution states, "No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the district for which he is chosen."

West Virginia State Senate

Section 13 of Article 6 of the West Virginia Constitution states, "No person holding any other lucrative office or employment under this state, the United States, or any foreign government; no member of Congress; and no person who is sheriff, constable, or clerk of any court of record, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislature."

Wisconsin State Senate

Section 6 of Article 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution states, "No person shall be eligible to the legislature who shall not have resided one year within the state, and be a qualified elector in the district which he may be chosen to represent."

Wyoming State Senate

Section 2 of Article 3 of the Wyoming Constitution states, "Senators shall be elected for the term of four (4) years and representatives for the term of two (2) years. The senators elected at the first election shall be divided by lot into two classes as nearly equal as may be. The seats of senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first two years, and of the second class at the expiration of four years. No person shall be a senator who has not attained the age of twenty-five years, or a representative who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, and who is not a citizen of the United States and of this state and who has not, for at least twelve months next preceding his election resided within the county or district in which he was elected."


References

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named senate
  2. California Secretary of State, "Qualifications for State Legislature," accessed December 16, 2013
  3. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate Qualifying Information," accessed December 16, 2013
  4. "2010 Indiana Candidate Guide," accessed December 16, 2013
  5. "Iowa Constitution," accessed December 16, 2013
  6. Kentucky Secretary of State, "Candidate Qualification Information," accessed December 16, 2013
  7. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Qualify for an Election," accessed December 16, 2013
  8. Minnesota Secretary of State, "Filing for Office," accessed June 23, 2014
  9. Mississippi Secretary of State, "Filing Fees and Qualifications," accessed December 17, 2013
  10. Missouri Secretary of State, "Elected Officials Qualifications," accessed December 17, 2013
  11. Montana Legislative Services, "Constitution of Montana," accessed March 6, 2014 (Referenced Art. V, Sec. 4)
  12. Nebraska Legislature, "Qualifications to serve in the Nebraska Legislature," accessed December 17, 2013
  13. Nevada Secretary of State, "2009-2010 Election Information Guide," accessed December 17, 2013
  14. New Hampshire Secretary of State, "Qualifications," accessed December 18, 2013
  15. South Carolina Secretary of State, "Qualifications for office," accessed December 18, 2013
  16. South Dakota Secretary of State, "Qualification to Hold Office & Term Limitations," accessed December 18, 2013
  17. Tennessee Secretary of State, "Qualifications for elected offices in Tennessee," accessed December 18, 2013
  18. Texas Secretary of State, "Qualifications for office," accessed December 18, 2013
  19. Utah Secretary of State, "Becoming a State Candidate," accessed December 18, 2013
  20. usconstitution.net, "Vermont Constitution," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Section 15)
  21. vakids.org, "Virginia State Legislature For Kids," accessed December 18, 2013