Eligibility for Public Office

Basic Requirements
  • To be eligible to be a candidate for, or elected or appointed to, a public elective office in this state, a person must:
    • Be a United States citizen
    • Be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of appointment, as applicable
    • Have not been determined mentally incompetent by a final judgment of a court
    • Have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities
    • Have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for 6 months immediately preceding the following date
  • For a candidate whose name is to appear on a general primary election ballot, the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot
  • For an independent candidate, the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot
  • For a write-in candidate, the date of the election at which the candidate’s name is written in
  • For a party nominee who is nominated by any method other than by primary election, the date the nomination is made
  • For an appointee to an office, the date the appointment is made:
    • Satisfy any other eligibility requirements prescribed by law for the office:
      • A statute outside this code supersedes Subsection (a) to the extent of any conflict.
      • Subsection (a) does not apply to an office for which the federal or state constitution or a statute outside this code prescribes exclusive eligibility requirements.
Felony Conviction
There are 2 methods by which this disability resulting from a conviction in a Texas state court may be removed if the person convicted is placed on probation:
  • By a proceeding in the trial court, on completion of probation, in which the charge is dismissed (Article 42.12, Section 20, Code of Criminal Procedure)
  • By a pardon granted by the governor (Article IV, Section 11, Texas Constitution)
Only the 2nd method is available to a convicted felon who is not placed on probation. Compare Section 112 of this code, on qualifications for voting.

Other Qualifications
A person wishing to know the qualifications for a particular office should consult the constitutional provision, statute, city charter provision, or city ordinance creating the office to learn whether the creating law prescribes additional, or exclusive, qualifications for the office.

Rules on Residence
See Section 1.015 on rules on residence:
  • Ineligibility of members of the legislature for certain offices, see Article III, Section 18, Texas Constitution, and notes thereunder.
  • Ineligibility of certain officers for the legislature, see Article III, Section 19, Texas Constitution, and notes thereunder.