How Do You Become a Congressman?


Quick Answer

To become a congressman, a person must meet the minimum age and residency requirements of the appropriate state. He must live in the state and have been a United States citizen for seven or more years to run as a representative and nine or more years to run as a senator.

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Full Answer

To become a congressman, a person must first decide what motivates the run for office and develop a clearly articulated message. Knowledge of national issues, current events and the political process are necessary. Also necessary are leadership and public-speaking skills. Interpersonal skills, such as good manners and poise, are also useful.

Once a person decides to run, it is necessary to file for office. For the House of Representatives, a person must be at least 25 years of age. For the Senate, a person must be at least 30 years of age. For either position, it is necessary to be a resident of the state in which the person is running for office. The state and local election officials have additional requirements for filing and being placed on the ballot. Organizing a campaign committee of supporters and scheduling and attending fundraising events is necessary. There are restrictions that must be followed on collecting and reporting campaign funds, and these funds must be kept in a separate bank account. It is necessary to get the word out by advertising, utilizing various media venues and going door to door to meet and greet the potential voters. Candidates can work up to 18 hours a day when seeking election.

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