The United States Congress is the singular place where all laws and regulations start, and where constituents have their concerns recognized and addressed. Running for Congress may be many American citizens’ next move in pursuing their political activism and career in leadership.
There is a lot to know about considering a step up into congressional office. Depending on the state a person resides in, as well as whether one is running for the House of Representatives or Senate, the specifics vary. So, how does one run for Congress?
How to Run for Congress Tips
- Meet the Qualifications:
The U.S. Constitution requires anyone running for the House of Representatives to be 25 years of age, a citizen of the U.S. for at least seven years, and a resident of the district they’re campaigning in. For the Senate, the candidate must be 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for nine years, and a resident of the state they wish to represent.
- File the Paperwork:
Once the candidate reaches $5,000 in campaign contributions, within 15 days they must file a statement with the Federal Election Commission announcing they are running for candidacy. The campaign committee must also submit a Statement of Organization.
- Be Known in the Community:
A highly recommended aspect is being involved with the local office before deciding to take it to the next level, positions such as city commissioner, mayor, or governor. This gives the person an opportunity to be more well known with supporters and a better chance of being elected when running for Congress.
- Be Educated:
Even though candidates are not required to have a degree in political science or law, someone running for Congress should understand how it works, have a grasp of the Constitution, the process of lawmaking, and all that goes into being an elected representative.
- Campaign, Campaign, Campaign:
After passing the objective requirements, one must campaign, and appeal to voters in order to win that seat in office. This involves raising enough money in donations and contributions, as well as having a campaign staff that helps spread the message. The candidate must be able to go out and talk to people in that area in order to be knowledgeable on the issues they’re concerned about.
Just being able to resonate with local people and the things they care about is so important, the candidate should make it known that they will vote in the voice of the people if elected. This is how to run for Congress.
– Emma Dale