Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government

Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Guide for Major Party or Nonpartisan Candidates

View printable PDF

Qualifications for Candidates Seeking Election November 4, 2014
This document summarizes filing requirements under Minnesota law for candidates (Minnesota Statutes sections 204B.03; 204B.06; 204B.09; 204B.11; 204B.12; 205.13; 205A.06; 211A.02).

Qualifications for Federal and State Partisan Offices

U.S. Senator: Must live in Minnesota when elected; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; be at least 30 years old and a U.S. citizen for at least nine years on January 3, 2015.

U.S. Representative: Must live in Minnesota when elected; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; be at least 25 years old and a U.S. citizen for at least seven years on January 3, 2015.

State Representative: Must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; and be at least 21 years old on January 3, 2015; a resident of Minnesota for at least one year and of the legislative district for at least six months before November 4, 2014.

Governor, Lieutenant Governor: Must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; be at least 25 years old by January 3, 2015; and a resident of Minnesota for at least one year on November 4, 2014.

Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor: Must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; be at least 21 years old by January 3, 2015; and a resident of Minnesota for at least 30 days before November 4, 2014.

State Judicial Officers: Must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; have not filed for more than one office for the upcoming primary or general election; be at least 21 years old on January 3, 2015; and be licensed to practice law in Minnesota.

Information about county, municipal and school district office elections is available from county auditors, municipal clerks or school district clerks, respectively.

Filing Period
The filing period for federal, state and county offices to be elected in the General Election, November 4, 2014, opens May 20 and closes at 5 p.m., June 3, 2014.

Filing dates for municipal, school district and other local offices vary. Contact the appropriate local election official for additional filing information and requirements.

Filing Location

  • Candidates for federal offices must file with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. 
  • Candidates for state and judicial offices may file with either the county auditor of the county in which they reside or the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  • Candidates for county offices must file with the county auditor.
  • Candidates for municipal offices must file with the municipal clerk.
  • Candidates for school district offices must file with the school district clerk.

Filing Fee
Candidates must pay a filing fee or submit a petition in place of the filing fee when filing their affidavits of candidacy. Sample forms and information about the number of required signatures on a petition are available from the filing officer.

Candidates who provide the filing fee by check or other instrument for which sufficient funds are not available will have their names removed from the ballot and are liable for all costs incurred by election officials in removing their names from the ballot.

Filing Fee Amounts

  • U.S. Senator: $400
  • U.S. Representative: $300
  • State Representative: $100
  • Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor: $300
  • State Judicial Office: $300
  • County Office: $50
  • Soil and Water Conservation Dist. Supervisor: $20
  • Municipal Office: check with the filing officer
  • School District Office: $2

Affidavit of Candidacy
All candidates must file an affidavit of candidacy for office. A candidate must state that the name listed on their affidavit is the true name by which they are commonly known in the community.

Candidates seeking the nomination of a major political party must state that they participated in the party’s most recent precinct caucus or that they intend to vote for a majority of the party’s candidates at the next state general election.

Affidavits of candidacy for federal, state and county offices may be completed between March 21 and June 3, 2014. A properly completed affidavit and filing fee (or a petition in place of filing fee) must be submitted by mail or hand and received by the filing officer between May 20 and June 3, 2014.

Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary or an individual authorized to administer oaths. Staff of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State or county auditor, if delegated, may witness affidavits of candidacy. Candidates for judicial and county attorney offices must submit a copy of a current Minnesota law license. Sheriff candidates must submit a copy of a current Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Board license.

Note: Candidates for any office who will be out of the state during the filing period may file an affidavit of candidacy and pay any required filing fee (or submit a petition in place of the filing fee) during the seven days immediately preceding their absence from the state. Candidates for federal, state, county and special district office who must unexpectedly leave the state during the filing period may submit their affidavits of candidacy by fax or as a scanned attachment in an email. Contact the proper filing officer for more information.

Withdrawal
Affidavits of withdrawal from candidates for federal, state and county offices must be submitted to the filing officer by 5 p.m., June 5, 2014. The withdrawal dates for municipal and school district candidates vary based upon the filing period dates, but are always due within 48 hours of the close of filing. The filing fee is not refundable.

Primaries
Candidates of a major political party (Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Independence and Republican) for partisan office and certain candidates for nonpartisan office must win a primary to have their names placed on the general election ballot.

Candidates of minor parties or independent candidates are nominated by petition. See Guide for Candidates Running for Partisan Office as a Minor Party or Independent Candidate for additional information.

View the list of candidates who have filed for state or federal office. The office will publish the website address (if submitted) of every candidate who files for federal or state office in Minnesota.

Campaign Expenditure Reporting
Information about financial reporting requirements is available from the following sources:

Federal Offices
Financial reports related to federal offices must be filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Candidates for federal office whose reports are published on the FEC website are not required to file with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.

State Offices (includes all judicial offices)
Financial reports related to state offices must be filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (Minnesota Statutes 10A).

Other Offices
Candidates for county, municipal and school district office elections must file with county auditors, municipal clerks or school district clerks, respectively.

Last updated: 3/14/2014 3:26:50 PM