Who Can Be a Candidate?

 

The CT Office of the Secretary of the State has commented on the question of qualifications for candidacy (see below).


First, as one might expect, to hold an elective office you must be an
elector (registered voter) in that district. For example, you can't serve on a city
council if you are a minor, a resident alien, a convicted felon still on
parole, or if you live outside the district.

However, candidacy is another matter. It's OK to run from outside the
district as long as you intend to move into the district if elected. If you
are a felon, though, you cannot be a candidate, even if you will be off
parole before taking office. As for minors and resident aliens, the law is
not clear, and apparently there is no precedent. If we wanted to run
someone who is turning 18 just around Election Day, or an immigrant who is
becoming a citizen then, we would have to apply for a decision from the
SOTS.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Champagne, Arthur" <Arthur.Champagne@ po.state.ct.us>
To: <dbedellgreen@ hotmail.com>
Cc: <Michael.Kozik@ po.state.ct.us>; <ted.bromley@ po.state.ct.us>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 3:04 PM
Subject: RE: question regarding state and municipal candidates


David,
You are correct. There have been instances when candidates ran for an
office that was outside of their district or town with the understanding
that if they won the seat, they would move into the district/town before
the start of the term. Unfortunately, the statutes do not address all
of the possible scenarios, except for the question that you raised
earlier concerning a convicted felon serving a sentence. That the
statutes do address. Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 9-46(b) states
in part: "No person who has forfeited and not regained such person's
privileges as an elector, ... may be a candidate for or hold public
office."
In view of the absence of case law on the subject for guidance, we are
reluctant to rule on such potential issues. If a real issue does
develop, such as residence questions that you mentioned, we would be
happy to research it and render an opinion.

Arthur Champagne, Elections Officer
Office of the Secretary of the State

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