Run for Elective Office

There are different ways to become involved with issues of public policy.  ACS works with its members to help equip them to be effective advocates and communicators on behalf of chemistry and science.

Some individuals have expressed an interest in taking their advocacy for science to a higher level, such as running for elective office. While ACS cannot become involved with partisan politics or elections, we can endeavor to provide general resources for our members to consult if they are considering a run for elective office. Periodically we will update this site with additional non-partisan resources.

The path to elected office depends on what you choose to run for. Before beginning, it is useful to ask yourself some questions.

Why are you running?

  • What do you hope to accomplish by running for a specific office?
  • Are you sure the office you want to run for is best positioned to make the changes you want?  You should be able to explain your issue and why you are running for a specific office in a 3-5 minute speech – an elevator pitch or stump speech.
  • Your narrative needs to extend beyond your career and expertise.

Do you have the resources to be a successful candidate and official?

  • Do you have enough of a network to support a campaign? Friends, family, and colleagues will be your first volunteers.
  • Are you ready to fundraise? Campaigns can be expensive, and many people will not be able to fund their campaign alone.

How well do you listen to others?

  • Do you know the issues that affect the people you are running to represent?
  • Are you prepared to listen to people as you campaign?

After you have decided you are committed to run, check with the appropriate level of government to find out what eligibility requirements there are for the office you are considering.

Related Resources

Ballotpedia – Ballotpedia can help with state office eligibility and ballot access requirements.

Spark Notes – Outlines the process of running for federal office – President, Representative, or Senator.

Candidate Boot Camp – Provides an outline about what you need to consider before running for office.

Run for Office – Offers an address search to find what offices you can run for, a free online course “How to run for office,” and voter files with all voters in your district.

Ready to Run – Ready to run is a network of campaign training programs for electing more women to public office. This site provides connections to local programs in more than 20 states and territories around the United States.