Becoming a Candidate

Filing forms for offices that file with the Secretary of State and sample forms for offices that file with county clerks are accessible online. Please review the election schedule to determine when the office for which you are interested in running will be on the ballot and the election calendar to make sure you do not miss any applicable deadlines. You may wish to review Kentucky's election laws and this website's frequently asked questions for additional information.
 
The qualifications for various offices are set forth below. Ballot access requirements are set forth in KRS 118.125, KRS 118.315, KRS 118.325 and KRS 118.365.
 

Offices That File With the Secretary of State

Office
Qualifications
Authority
Filing Office
Filing Fee*
President
(4 year term)
Must be at least 35 years of age, a natural born citizen, been 14 years a resident within the United States.
U.S. Const. Art. II, § 1
Secretary of State
Primary $1,000.00 General $500.00
Vice President
(4 year term)
Must be at least 35 years of age, a natural born citizen, been 14 years a resident within the United States.
U.S. Const. Art. II, § 1
United States Senator
(Staggered 6 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for 9 years, and, when elected, an inhabitant of the State for which he is chosen.
U.S. Const. Art. I, § 3
Secretary of State
$500.00
United States Representative
(2 year term)
Must be at least 25 years of age, a U.S. citizen for 7 years, and, when elected, and inhabitant of the State for which he is chosen.
U. S. Const. Art. I,§ 2
Secretary of State
$500.00
Governor
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age, and have been a citizen and resident of Kentucky for at least 6 years next preceding his election.
Ky. Const. § 72
Secretary of State
$500.00
Lieutenant Governor
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age, and have been a citizen and resident of Kentucky for at least 6 years next preceding his election.
Ky. Const. § 72
Attorney General
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age at the time of his election, shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least 2 years next before his election, and shall have been a practicing lawyer eight years before his election.
y. Const. § 91, § 92
Secretary of State
$500.00
Secretary of State
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least 2 years next before his election.
Ky. Const. § 91
Secretary of State
$500.00
Auditor of Public Accounts
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least 2 years next before his election.
Ky. Const. § 91
Secretary of State
$500.00
State Treasurer
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least 2 years next before his election.
Ky. Const. § 91
Secretary of State
$500.00
Commissioner of Agriculture
(4 year term)
Must be at least 30 years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least 2 years next before his election.
Ky. Const. § 91
Secretary of State
$500.00
State Senator
(Staggered 4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, resided in the State 6 years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.
Ky. Const. § 32
Secretary of State
$200.00
State Representative
(2 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, resided in the State 2 years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town or city, which he may be chosen.
Ky. Const. § 32
Secretary of State
$200.00
Supreme Court Justice
(Staggered 8 year term)
Must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of both the Commonwealth, and of the district from which he is elected for 2 years next preceding his taking office and licensed to practice law in the courts of the Commonwealth and a licensed attorney for at least 8 years.
Ky. Const. § 122
Secretary of State
$200.00
Judge of the Court of Appeals
(8 year term)
Must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of both the Commonwealth and of the district from which he is elected for 2 years next preceding his taking office and licensed to practice law in the courts of the Commonwealth, and a licensed attorney for at least 8 years.
Ky. Const. § 122
Secretary of State
$200.00
Circuit Judge
(8 year term)
Must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of both the Commonwealth and of the district from which he is elected for 2 years next preceding his taking office and licensed to practice law in the courts of the Commonwealth, and a licensed attorney for at least 8 years.
Ky. Const. § 122
Secretary of State
$200.00
District Judge
(4 year term)
Must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of both the Commonwealth and of the district from which he is elected for 2 years next preceding his taking office and licensed to practice law in the courts of the Commonwealth, and a licensed attorney for at least 2 years.
Ky. Const. § 122
Secretary of State
$200.00
Commonwealth’s Attorney
(6 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate, and have been a licensed practicing lawyer for 4 years.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk if representing only one county.
All others file with the Secretary of State.
$200.00
Offices That File With County Clerk
Office
Qualifications
Authority
Filing Office
Filing Fee*
Circuit Court Clerk
(6 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 21 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.
Additional Requirement: must receive a passing grade of 70% or more on a written examination prepared and administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Ky. Const. § 100
SCR 1.060
County Clerk
$50.00
County Judge/ Executive
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
County Clerk
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 21 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
County Attorney
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county in which he is a candidate, and have been a licensed practicing lawyer for 2 years.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
Sheriff
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
Jailer
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
The General Assembly has consolidated the offices of sheriff and jailer in counties containing a city of the first class and in urban county governments.
KY Const. § 100
KRS 71.110
County Clerk
$50.00
Coroner
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
Property Valuation Administrator
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Additional requirement: must possess a certificate issued by the Revenue Cabinet showing that he has been examined by it and that he is qualified for the office.
Ky. Const. § 100
KRS 132.380
County Clerk
$50.00
Surveyor
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.

Additional requirement: must provide county clerk with evidence that he or she holds a Kentucky license as a professional land surveyor.
Ky. Const. § 100
County Clerk
$50.00
Magistrate/Justice of the Peace
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate.
Ky. Const. § 100 § 234
County Clerk
$50.00
County Commissioner
(4 year term)
Must be at least 24 years of age, has been for two years next preceding his election, a resident of the county and a citizen of Kentucky, must have been a bona fide resident of the district he proposes to represent for at least one year immediately preceding his election.
KRS 67.060
County Clerk
$50.00
Constable
(4 year term)
At the time of election, must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky, has resided in the State 2 years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate. (Shall possess the same qualifications as Sheriffs)
Ky. Const.
§ 100, § 101
County Clerk
$50.00
Mayor**
(Staggered 4 year term)
Must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the city for not less than one year, a qualified voter in the city, and shall reside in the city throughout his term of office.
KRS 83A.040(1)
County Clerk
5th or 6th class city $20.00
All others $50.00
Legislative Body** (2 year term)
Must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the city for not less than one year, a qualified voter in the city, and shall reside in the city throughout his term of office.
KRS 83A.040 (4)
County Clerk
5th or 6th class city $20.00
All others $50.00
Board of Education (School Board) Member
(Staggered 4 year term)
Must be at least 24 years of age, a citizen of Kentucky for at least 3 years preceding the election, a voter of the district for which he is elected, completed at least the 12th grade or has been issued a GED certificate or has received a high school diploma in the external diploma program, and files an affidavit certifying completion of the 12th grade or the equivalent with his nominating petition. The candidate must not hold a state office requiring the constitutional oath or be a member of the General Assembly, nor may he hold or discharge the duties of any civil or political office, deputyship, or agency under the city or county of his residence, nor at the time of election is directly or indirectly interested in the sale to the board of services, supplies, or equipment purchased with school funds, nor has been removed from a board of education for cause, nor has a relative employed by the school district.
KRS
160.180 (2)
County Clerk
$20.00
Write-In Candidates
(Only allowed in General elections)
See qualifications for desired office.
KRS 117.265
KRS 118.255
County Clerk
$20.00 for 5th or 6th class city candidates
All others $50.00
*KRS 118.255
**Legislative Council of Greater Louisville and Greater Louisville Mayor qualifications are governed by KRS 67C.103 and KRS 67C.105. Article 4 of the Lexington Fayette Urban-County Charter governs Lexington Fayette Urban-County Government Mayor and Council qualifications.