The general eligibility requirements to be a candidate for a public elective office in Texas are that a person must: 1) be a United States citizen; 2) be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election; 3) have not been determined totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction; 4) have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities; 5) have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for six months immediately preceding a date which varies according to the candidate’s status; and 6) satisfy any other eligibility requirements prescribed by law for the office. These requirements do not apply to an office for which the federal or state constitution or a statute outside the Texas Election Code (“the Code”) prescribes exclusive eligibility requirements. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 141.001 (Vernon Supp. 2012).
Procedures for Filing
In order to become a candidate with a major political party, one must file an application with the county or state party chair, and pay a filing fee. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 172.022, 172.024. A candidate also has the option of filing a petition in lieu of the filing fee. Id. § 172.025. The regular filing period for the March 4, 2014 primary election begins on November 9, 2013 and ends at 6:00 p.m. on December 9, 2013. (Application and petition forms are available through your local party officials or the office of the Secretary of State.) For the appropriate filing authority and the appropriate fee or appropriate number of signatures see the “Republican or Democratic Party Nominees” section of this 2014 Candidate’s Guide. Contact information for both state parties is shown below, and the website of each party contains contact information for each state party’s respective county chairs.
|Texas Democratic Party||Texas Republican Party|
4818 East Ben White Blvd., Suite 104
Austin, TX 78741
1108 Lavaca St., Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78701
It is probable that there will be offices for unexpired terms on the Primary ballot. For the deadlines associated with filing for such offices, please see the following entries in Election Advisory No. 2013-09, March 4, 2014 Primary Election Calendar: December 4, 9, and 16, 2013.
Financial Disclosure Requirements
Under Title 15 of the Code, candidates must file campaign contribution and expenditure reports. For further information and all questions about such disclosure filings, campaign finance, and political advertising, please contact the Texas Ethics Commission at 201 E. 14th, 10th Floor, Austin, Texas 78701, P.O. Box 12070, Austin, Texas 78711-2070 (or call 512-463-5800 or visit its website at www.ethics.state.tx.us). Candidates filing for federal offices should contact the Federal Elections Commission toll-free at 1-800-424-9530 or visit its website at www.fec.gov.