Criminal Justice

Felon Candidacy

12.28.12

Can a convicted felon run for U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives?

According to the U.S. Constitution, there are only three requirements for someone to run for these offices:

  • Must be at least 25 years old for the House and 30 years old for the Senate
  • Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years for the House and 9 years for the Senate
  • The candidate must be a resident of the state where he or she was elected

Congress cannot impose further restrictions on candidates without amending the U.S. Constitution. As a result, a person convicted of a felony may run for either the U.S. House or Senate so long as he or she satisfies the other requirements.

Can a convicted felon run for public office in the state of Ohio?

Ohio law says that a person who has been convicted of a felony cannot hold public office in the state. In addition, the law goes one step further by stating that no person convicted of bribery or embezzlement can hold public office, even if the crime was not a felony.