Running for Office in Kentucky

Running for Office in Kentucky


Interested in running for office in Kentucky? Here is a helpful guide to highlight the information you need if you are a first time candidates.

What are you running for?

In Kentucky, State Representatives run every two years. Just like the US House of Representatives. Kentucky State Senators run every four years in staggered terms. Senators from districts with even numbers run during the Midterm elections. Senators with districts that have odd numbers run during Presidential election years. Statewide candidates run in “off” years, the year before a Presidential.

Members of the US House of Representatives are elected every two years. US Senators are elected every six years in staggered elections. Kentucky’s next US Senate Race will be in 2020.

How do I announce that I am running?

For a Kentucky campaign, you would file your Letter of Intent with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. They have a helpful guide located here. For local races, City Council, Property Value Administrator, etc, check with your local County Clerk as you may have to notify both agencies. You also should check that you qualify to run as each office has residency requirements.

For Federal races, you can file with the Federal Election Commission and submit Form 1 – Statement of Organization here. The FEC requires that U.S. House races must file electronically.

It is best if you have already registered a domain name before you announce so others do not register a domain name for you. Use a .com domain, and if you want to run again in the future, do not use a date in the domain name. Hard to spell domains are tougher to remember, you may want to register common misspellings as well. If you register you domain with Google Domains, setting up G-Suite Email is easier later on.

I filed my paperwork, what next?

Next, you should start the core components of your campaign.

  • Build a Website. Hire a local web designer, or use Wix or SquareSpace to build a quick landing page, or a form to ask for Volunteers
  • Sign up for Email Hosting. Don’t settle for a free email system, you have no support to call if you are locked out of your account.
  • Setup online fundraising. You can use Campaign Deputy for Online Fundraising, or use ActBlue, or both!
  • Build your list of Friends and Family and think of what you could comfortably ask them to give to your campaign. This is commonly called an Ask To Give.

What are Disclosure Reports?

In Kentucky, you have to report any contribution over $100 with their First and Last name, Address, Occupation, Employer and date of the contribution. If someone gives twice and exceeds $100 in total, you must report that as well. You could keep track of this in an Excel or Google Doc, you don’t want to when the Kentucky Reports are due 30 days and 15 days before an election when you are out knocking on doors! Campaign Deputy can help generate your reports in one-click, sign up for a free trial today!

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