Qualify for an Election
In order to become a candidate in an election you must qualify for the office you are seeking. The qualifying period is a three day window which is set by law. Local candidates qualify at your parish clerk of court's office. State candidates qualify at the secretary of state's office.
The qualifications to run for office vary by the office you are running for. For example, if you are running for district attorney, you must have been admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana for at least 5 years prior to the election and have lived in the district for at least 2 years. If you are running for coroner, you must be a licensed physician, unless no licensed physician in the parish will accept the office. The coroner must be a resident of the parish, or a licensed physician who is not a resident of the parish but maintains a full-time medical practice at a principal medical office facility in the parish.
View more information on the qualifications of specific offices. You can also view more about the qualifications of candidates for Orleans Parish only.
Forms and Fees
Download the notice of candidacy form.
On this form, you certify that:
- you are a qualified elector (registered voter) in the jurisdiction where you qualify to run for office;
- you are not currently under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony and are not prohibited from qualifying as a candidate for conviction of a felony pursuant to Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution of Louisiana;
- if you are a candidate for any office other than United States senator or representative you must have filed federal and state income tax returns for each of the previous five tax years, have filed for an extension of time for filing either your federal or state income tax return or both, or was not required to file either a federal or state income tax return or both;
- you acknowledge that you are subject to the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act if you are a candidate for any office other than United States senator, representative, or member of a committee of a political party and that you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
- if you are a candidate for a major or district office as defined in R.S. 18:1483, you have filed each report that you are required to file by the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, if any were previously due;
- you do not owe any outstanding fines, fees or penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics; and
- you are knowledgeable of the laws governing election offenses as provided in chapter 10 of Title 18 and the prohibitions relative to erecting, displaying or posting political campaign signs on any highway right-of-way, publicly owned property or right-of-way or to or on any public utility pole or stanchion, as provided in R.S. 48:347(D), 30:2544(A) and 18:1470.
Your candidacy may be challenged if any of the above is not correct.
Candidates may qualify for office by paying a fee or by filing a nominating petition. Nominating petition forms are available at the parish clerk of court's office or the secretary of state's office.
Act No. 778 of the 2012 Regular Session states: A candidate serving in the armed forces of the United States who is stationed or deployed outside of the United States shall not be required to pay any qualifying fee or any additional fee. He or she shall file with the qualifying official a military qualifying certification form prepared by the secretary of state certifying that at the time of qualifying he or she is serving in the armed forces of the United States and that he or she is eligible to become a candidate pursuant to United States Department of Defense Directive 1344.10.
Having an Agent Qualify a Candidate for Office
You may use an agent to file your qualifying form.
The agent shall file with the qualifying official an agent affidavit form attesting that the agent has your authorization and consent to file the notice.
An agent who files a notice of candidacy without the authorization or consent of the candidate shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both.