Ilona Nickels
About Ilona         
Ilona's Blog         
Audience Feedback         
Capitol Corner         
Q's and A's         
Recommended Reading         
"Why Congress Matters"         
3rd Edition Now Available       

Contact Ilona         

Accountability of Elected Officials
Career Paths to Congress
Chaplains in the U.S. Congress
House Ethics Process
House/Senate Differences
Lame Duck Congress: Attendance and Voting
Members of Congress: A Job Description
Members of Congress: Who Do They Represent?
Oath of Office for Members of Congress
Pledge of Allegiance: Standing for the Pledge
Pledge of Allegiance: Use in Congress
Qualifications to Run for Congress
Senate: 50-50 Split?
Senate Majority Leader: A Job Description
Sessions of Congress: Lengths
Size of House and Senate
Speaker of the House: a Job Description
Amending the Constitution
Constitutionality of Legislation
August Recesses
First Congress
GOP: Origins of Term
Ideology: Left or Right
Lame Duck Congress: Definition
Party Animals: the Donkey and the Elephant
Statue of Freedom
U.S. Citizenship Test
Amendment Tree in the Senate
Changing a Law
Conference Committees: In Decline
Conference Committees: Procedures
“Deem and Pass” Procedure
Executive Orders
Holds in the Senate
How to Find Basic Legislative Information
How to Keep Up With Congress
Types of Legislation

Capitol Corner

Qualifications to Run for Congress

What does it take to run for a seat in Congress?

Qualifications to Run for Congress by Ilona NickelsFormally, not much. Informally, a lot! The required qualifications are found in Article 1 of the Constitution:

House of Representatives


The informal qualifications for any House or Senate candidate include:

In order to win a seat in the U.S. Congress, a candidate has to have the ability to gain the attention of the voters and give them an opportunity to get to know his/her qualifications, positions, and political goals. That requires meeting potential voters face to face and lots of advertising.

Meeting voters requires a lot of days and evenings spent speaking to groups, and attending events, such as fairs, parades, civic club activities, company picnics, banquets, and municipal gatherings. Advertising by radio, television and by direct mail requires raising money by calling people directly and asking them for donations, as well as attending a great many fund-raising events and receptions.

For more information, check out the Capitol Corner column on: Career Paths to Congress.