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Qualifications & Running For Office

Important Election Dates for the 2013-2014 Election Cycle

General Provisions Governing Qualifications for Office:

The general qualifications of persons permitted to hold public office are set out in TCA 8-18-101. This section provides that all persons of the age of eighteen (18) years who are citizens of the United States and of this state, and have been inhabitants of the state, county, district, or circuit for the period required by the constitution and laws of the state, are qualified to hold office under the authority of this state except:

  1. Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode prescribed by law.
  2. Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to this state, or any county in the state.
  3. Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election, and the election of any such person shall be void.
  4. Soldiers, seamen, marines, or airmen in the regular armed forces of the United States.
  5. Members of congress and persons holding any office or profit or trust under any foreign power, other state of the union, or under the United States.

General Provisions Governing the Causes of Vacancies:

The causes of vacancies are set out in TCA 8-48-101. This section provides that any office in this state is vacated by the following:

  1. Death of the incumbent;
  2. Resignation, when permitted by law;
  3. Ceasing to be a resident of the state, or of the district, circuit, or county for which he was elected or appointed;
  4. Decision of a competent tribunal declaring the election or appointment void or the office vacant;
  5. Act of the general assembly abridging the term of office, where it is not fixed by the constitution;
  6. Sentence of the incumbent, by any competent tribunal in this or any other state, to the penitentiary, subject to restoration if the judgment is reversed, but not if the incumbent is pardoned; or
  7. Adjudication of the incumbent’s insanity.

Federal Offices

 

United States President

  • 35 years of age
  • Natural-born citizen
  • A resident within the United States for 14 years

United States Senator

  • 30 years of age
  • Citizen of the United States for 9 years
  • A Tennessee resident

United States Representative

  • 25 years of age
  • Citizen of the United States for 7 years
  • A Tennessee resident

State Offices

 

Governor

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • At least 30 years of age
  • Citizen of the United States
  • A resident of the state for seven (7) years before the next election

State Senator

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • At least 30 years of age
  • A resident in the state for 3 years
  • A resident in the county or district for 1 year immediately preceding the election
  • A qualified voter of the district

State Representative

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • At least 21 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 3 years
  • A resident in the county represented for one year immediately preceding the election
  • A qualified voter of the district

State Executive Committee

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • Shall be a bona fide member of the political party whose election they seek

Tennessee Supreme Court

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • 35 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee 

Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • 30 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee
  • Resident of the grand division of the state from which they seek election

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • 30 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee
  • Resident of the grand division of the state from which they seek election

Chancellor

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • 30 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • A resident of the circuit or district for one year
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee

Circuit Court Judge/Criminal Court Judge

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • 30 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • A resident of the circuit or district for 1 year
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee 

General Sessions Judge/Juvenile Court Judge

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • 30 years of age
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • A resident of the circuit or district for one year
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee

District Attorney General

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • A resident of the circuit or district for one year
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee

District Public Defender

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • A resident of the state for 5 years
  • A resident of the district for one year
  • Authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee

County Offices

 

County Mayor

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
  • A qualified voter of the county
  • 25 years of age
  • A resident of the county for 1 year prior to filing a nominating petition
  • Must continue to reside in the county during the term of office
  • Cannot hold any other public office for profit

County Commissioner

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside within district represented
  • Be a qualified voter of the district represented

Sheriff

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Cannot be a member of the general assembly
  • Cannot be a practicing attorney
  • A person shall:
    • Be a citizen of the United States;
    • Be at least 25 years of age prior to qualifying
    • Be a qualified voter of the county and resident for one year;
    • Have obtained a high school diploma or GED
    • Have not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances or a crime of domestic violence
    • Have been fingerprinted, under the direction of the Tn. Bureau of Investigation, and the TBI has made a search of local, state and federal files for any criminal record
    • Have at least three (3) years of full-time experience as a POST commission certified law enforcement officer in the previous ten (10) years or at least three (3) years of full -time experinece as a state or federal certified law enforcement officer with training equivalent to that required by the POST commission in the previous ten (10) years; provided, that any person holding the office of sheriff on May 30, 2011 shall be deemed to have met the requirements.
    • Have not been released, separated or discharged from any branch of the armed forces with a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or as a consequence of conviction or court martial for either state or federal offenses
    • Have been certified by a qualified professional in the psychiatric or psychological fields to be free of all apparent mental disorder as described in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    • Possess a current and valid POST certification issued within 12 months of the qualifying deadline for the office.

In the event that certification for peace officer is inactive or no longer valid, proof of the intent to run for office of sheriff shall be presented to the POST commission for approval to take the POST certification examination;

Shall file with the POST Commission at least 14 days prior to the qualifying deadline,

 

(A)   An affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section; and

(B) A confirmation of psychological evaluation form certified by the psychologist/psychiatrist providing psychological evaluation as provided for in 8-8-102 (b) (8) for the purposes of sheriff candidacy qualification.

 

Trustee

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside within the county (TCA 8-48-101)

Register of Deeds

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside within the county (TCA 8-48-101) 

Court Clerks

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside in the county (TCA 8-48-101)

Assessor of Property

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside in the county (TCA 8-48-101)
  • Cannot be a member of the county legislative body (TCA 67-1-503)

Circuit Court Clerk

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
  • Shall reside in the county wherein the court is held. (TCA 18-1-102) 

 

School Board Member

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
  • Shall reside within district represented (TCA 49-2-201)
  • Be a qualified voter of the district represented (TCA 49-2-201)
  • Shall have obtained a high school diploma or GED
  • No member of the County Commission or any other public official or employee of the Board of Education shall be eligible

Constable

  • Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101;
  • A person shall:
    • Be at least 21 years of age;
    • Be a qualified voter of the district;
    • Must possess at least a high school diploma or general educational development certificate (GED).(Persons holding the office on or before June 30, 2011 and those reelected after July 1, 2011 without an interuption of service in the office shall only be required to be able to read and write)
    • Not have been convicted in any federal or state court of a felony; and
    • Not have been separated or discharged from the armed forces of the United States with other than an honorable discharge;

Shall file with the county election commission, in conjunction with nominating petition, an affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section. (TCA 8-10-102) 

 

 

City Offices

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City of Mt Juliet Mayor and Commissioners

  • A qualified voter of the City of Mt Juliet
  • Shall not have been convicted of malfeasance in office, bribery or other currupt practice or crime or of violating any of the provisions of TCA 6-20-108 in reference to elections

 

City of Watertown Mayor and Alderman

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • A resident of Watertown for at least 1 year immediately preceding the election;
  • A citizen of Wilson County;
  • A qualified voter of the State of Tennessee.

City of Lebanon Mayor and Alderman

  • A resident of the City of Lebanon for at least 1 year preceding the election
  • Qualified to vote in the election for which they are a candidate
  • Shall not have been convicted of malfeasance in office, bribery or other corrupt practice or crime.