Candidate Qualifications

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If you wish to become a candidate for public office, please review the information on this page. If you would like additional information, please contact the Montgomery Election Center. The Election Center is non-partisan and candidate-neutral, but available to answer questions and provide information as needed.

General Qualifications for Public Office

Any candidate for public office in Alabama must be:

  • At least 18 years of age (minimum age requirement varies by office);
  • A registered voter;
  • A United States citizen (length of citizenship requirement varies by office); and
  • A resident of Alabama (length of residency requirement varies by office).

Minimum Qualifications (By Office)

Office Age State Res. U.S. Citizen Term Length Term Limit
U.S. Senate 30 1 day 9 years 6 years None
U.S. House 25 1 day 7 years 2 years None
Governor 30 7 years 10 years 4 years 2
Lt. Governor 30 7 years 10 years 4 years 2
Sec. of State 25 5 years 7 years 4 years 2
Atty. General 25 5 years 7 years 4 years 2
Auditor 25 5 years 7 years 4 years 2
Treasurer 25 5 years 7 years 4 years 2
Ag. Comm’r. 25 5 years 7 years 4 years 2
Pub. Srv. Comm. 18 1 day 1 day 4 years None
Supreme Court 18 1 day 1 day 6 years None
Civil Appeals 18 1 day 1 day 6 years None
Crim. Appeals 18 1 day 1 day 6 years None
State Bd. of Ed. 18 1 day 1 day 4 years None
State Senate* 25 3 years 1 day 4 years None
State House* 21 3 years 1 day 4 years None
Circuit Judge* 18 1 year 1 day 6 years None
District Judge* 18 1 year 1 day 6 years None
District Atty.* 18 1 year 1 day 6 years None
Probate Judge* 18 1 year 1 day 6 years None
Circuit Clerk 18 1 day 1 day 6 years None
Sheriff 18 1 day 1 day 4 years None
Co. Bd. of Ed.* 18 1 day 1 day 6 years None
County Comm. 18 1 day 1 day 4 years None
Mayor* 18 90 days 1 day 4 years None
City Council* 18 6 months 1 day 4 years None

Becoming a Candidate

You may become a "candidate" for political office by:

  • Qualifying with a political party recognized by the State of Alabama;
  • Reaching the contribution/expenditure threshold for the office sought (see Fair Campaign Practices Act link); or
  • Filing a valid petition to gain ballot access as an independent or municipal candidate.

Within five (5) calendar days of becoming a candidate you must file the Appointment of Principal Campaign Committee form with the Secretary of State for all County or State office - or the Judge of Probate for all municipal offices (see Fair Campaign Practices Act link).

All candidates for political office and elected officials must file a Statement of Economic Interests with the Alabama Ethics Commission (see Candidate Forms link).