Federal, State and Local requirements to be a candidate.

If you are choosing to run for an office and wondering if you meet the requirements to hold that particular office, you will find the basic requirements here. We have also provided a button below of the 2020 Indiana Candidates Guide as well to give you more information on candidate qualifications. Detailed information in the 2020 Indiana Candidate guide are correct for calendar year 2020. A link is also displayed in the Related Candidate Qualifications section of this page.

2020 Indiana Candidate Guide

Brief Requirements of Elected Positions

Please see the expandable columns below to get a brief summary of qualifications. Page guides to the 2020 Indiana Candidates guide will also be provided for a more thorough and complete description. The summarized information here is just that, a summary. It is the potential candidate's responsibility to understand the qualifications of the position they are running for.

Summarized from the Constitution of the United States:

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution provides that:

“No person except a natural-born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.”

See pages 23-37 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

Summarized from the Constitution of the United States:

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution provides that:

“No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”

NOTE: There is no requirement that a candidate for United States Representative must reside within the district the candidate seeks to represent or be an inhabitant of Indiana until the date of the November 2020 general election.

See pages 38-42 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

Summarized from the Indiana State Code for Governor:

IC 3-8-1-9 provides that:

“A candidate for the office of governor or lieutenant governor:
(1) must have been a United States citizen for at least five (5) years before the election;
(2) must have resided in the state for at least five (5) years before the election;
(3) must be thirty (30) years old upon taking office; and
(4) may not hold any other office of the United States or of this state upon taking office; as provided in Article 5, Sections 7 and 8 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana.”

Summarized from the Indiana State Code for Attorney General:

IC 3-8-1-10 provides that:

“A candidate for the office of attorney general must:
(1) have resided in Indiana for at least two (2) years before the election; and
(2) have been admitted to the practice of law in Indiana for at least five (5) years upon taking office.”

See pages 43-54 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

Summarized from Indiana State Code for Senator

IC 3-8-1-13 provides that:

“A candidate for the office of senator in the General Assembly must:
(1) Be a United States citizen at the time of election;
(2) Have resided in the state for at least two (2) years and in the senate district for at least one (1) year before the election; and
(3) Be at least twenty-five (25) years old upon taking office;
as provided in Article 4, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana.”

Summarized from Indiana State Code for Indiana State Representative

“A candidate for the office of representative in the General Assembly must:
(1) Be a United States citizen at the time of the election;
(2) Have resided in the state for at least two (2) years and in the house district for at least one (1) year before the election; and
(3) Be at least twenty-one (21) years old upon taking office;
as provided in Article 4, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana.”

See pages 55-62 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide:

Summarized from Indiana State Code for Circuit Court Judge

IC 3-8-1-16 provides that:

“A candidate for the office of judge of a circuit court must:
(1) Reside in the circuit; and
(2) Be admitted to the practice of law in the state upon taking office;
as provided in Article 7, Section 7 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana.”

Summarized from Indiana State Code for Superior Court Judge

IC 3-8-1-17 provides that:

“A candidate for the office of judge of a superior or probate court must:
(1) Be admitted to the practice of law in Indiana upon filing a declaration of candidacy or petition of nomination, or upon the filing of a certificate of candidate selection under IC 3-13-1-15 or IC 3-13-2-8; and
(2) Comply with any other requirement for that office set forth in IC 33-29, IC 33-33, or IC 33-31.”

See pages 63-72 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana provides that:

“There shall be elected, in each county by the voters thereof, at the time of holding general elections, a Clerk of the Circuit Court, Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer, Sheriff, Coroner, and Surveyor, who shall, severally, hold their offices for four years; and no person shall be eligible to the office of Clerk, Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer, Sheriff, or Coroner more than eight years in any period of twelve years.”

NOTE: Indiana law does not permit an elected officeholder to be a government employee of the same unit of government. (IC 3-5-9) While this does not prevent such an individual from running for office, the individual effectively resigns from their government position by assuming office, if elected to serve. (IC 3-5-9-5)

See pages 73-85 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

Due to the number of different scenarios for Township offices, we cannot provide a true summary that can be concise. Please refer to the Indiana Candidate guide for more detailed information.

See pages 87- 93 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide.

The procedures for selecting school board members are set forth in the "school corporation organization plan" adopted by the school corporation.  Recent change in legislation has moved the election of school board members to the general election in even numbered years (instead of the primary election in even numbered years.)  Some members are elected at-large for the entire school corporation, while others are elected to represent specific districts in the school corporation territory.  School board offices are bi-partisan.  Candidates for school board must be 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.  (Filing period begins July 22, 2020 and ends at noon, August 21, 2020.)


See pages 95- 98 in the 2020 Indiana Candidate Guide for more details.

Although there is no state law requiring that a candidate for precinct committeeman or state convention delegate reside within the precinct or delegate district, state political party rules may restrict the ability of a political official who does not comply with a residency requirement to participate in party functions.  Contact the Democratic State Committee or Republican State Committee for more information.

Disqualification of a Candidate

a person is disqualified from being a candidate for an elected office if the person:

1) gave or offered a bribe, threat or reward to procure the person's election; 2) does not comply with I.C. 5-8-3 because of a conviction for a violation of the federal laws listed in that statute; 3) in a A) jury trial, a jury publicly announces a verdict against the person for a felony; B) bench trial, the court publicly announces a verdict against the person for a felony; or C) guilty plea hearing, the person pleads guilty or nolo contedere to a felony; 4) the person has been removed from the office the candidate seeks; 5) the person is a member of the United States armed forces on active duty and prohibited by the United States Department of Defense from being a candidate; or 6) the person is subject to "the Little Hatch Act" or "the Hatch Act."