How to Become a Congressman

Article 1 of the Constitution of the United States provides for a Congress of elected officials made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Congress has the responsibility of organizing the executive and judicial branches, raising revenue, declaring war, and making the laws necessary to execute these powers. Use these steps to prepare yourself to run for Congress.


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    Meet the minimum criteria. A candidate must be at least 25 years old, a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years and live in the state you wish to represent. If you are considering running for the Senate, the requirements are 30 years old and citizen for at least 9 years and must live in the state you wish to represent.
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    Decide which political party supports your views and become affiliated with them so that your name may be put forward to be placed on the ballot.
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    Hone skills important for public office, such as leadership, decision-making and public speaking. Take refresher classes.
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    File necessary papers for candidacy. Check with your state election officials for specific requirements.
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    Form a campaign committee. Begin with friends and family who are supportive of your bid for office. They will most likely comprise your inside committee. Appoint a chairman who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the campaign and help to recruit other workers.
    • The Campaign Manager has significant responsibility and should be a person of integrity who possesses great communication skills. This is generally the only paid position in a campaign.
    • Consider appointing a person as the Treasurer separate from the Campaign Manager. Choose someone who is trustworthy and credible.
    • Meet with your committee approximately once a week for updates, more often as the election gets closer.
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    Make yourself known to the public through advertising and personal appearances. Make certain that they know what your views are if you are elected.
    • Have campaign materials printed in a timely manner. Have campaign members and volunteers distribute them.
    • Accept opportunities for public appearances, such as debates or organization meetings. Seek out additional opportunities.
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    Schedule and attend fundraising events. Seek assistance from experts on fundraising to best optimize your time and efforts.


  • Be willing to commit an enormous amount of time to your campaign efforts.
  • Expand your network by maintaining a Twitter and Facebook account to keep your supporters up-to-date and receive suggestions.
  • Create a blog and website to leverage your online efforts.
  • Become familiar with laws regarding campaign funds and how they can be obtained and distributed.
  • Become or remain active in your local community. Let people know that you are seeking election and why.
  • Send letters to local newspapers expressing views on recent local and national events. Schedule interviews with reporters from TV, newspapers and magazine.

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Categories: Political Campaigning and Participation