An individual running for a seat in the House or Senate becomes a candidate when he or she raises or spends more than $5,000 in contributions or expenditures.
Congressional candidates must register with a Statement of Candidacy (Form 2) within 15 days of becoming a candidate. Candidates must file a Statement of Candidacy for every election they run in, even if they run for the same office in a different election cycle.
Senate candidates file by paper with the Secretary of the Senate.
House candidates file with the FEC, electronically or by paper.
Candidates who file electronically are required to use the Form 2. Candidates who file by paper can use either the Form 2 or a letter with the same information that’s captured on the Form 2.
The Statement of Candidacy requires a candidate’s signature. It collects some basic information, including the candidate's name and address. It’s also where candidates authorize any campaign committees working for them. A candidate for federal office is required to designate at least one authorized committee.
Register as a candidate using one of the following options:
Read step-by-step Form 2 instructions.
Updating an existing registration
Registering for off-year special elections
Candidates running in off-election year special elections who have received contributions or made expenditures over $5,000 for the special election should file a Statement of Candidacy indicating the year of the special election and designating a principal campaign committee to raise and spend funds for the special election.
If the candidate is also running in regularly scheduled elections and has received contributions or made expenditures over $5,000 for those elections, an additional Statement of Candidacy should be filed to indicate the year of the regularly scheduled election. The candidate can designate the same principal campaign committee or designate a new committee to raise and spend funds for the regularly scheduled elections.