Dr. Politics

So, You Want to Run for Office in 2018

by Dwight Patel

Congratulations on your decision to run for elected office in Maryland in 2018. I have run twice myself, and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.  The offices we need to field candidates for in Maryland in 2018 include the entire State Senate and House of Delegates as well as 8 seats in the U. S. House of Representatives plus County Council/Commissioners, County Executive, Sheriff, and Registrar of Wills.  On the state level, we will be working hard to re-elect Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, an Attorney General and a State Comptroller, along with Circuit Court Judges and members of your local Republican Central Committees.

 

Federal Offices

Office Sought Age U.S. Citizen State Citizen/ Resident District Resident Term of Office Election Year
President 35 Natural born Citizen 14 years a resident within the United States 4 years from January 20th 2020
Vice President 35 Natural born Citizen 14 years a resident within the United States 4 years from January 20th 2020
U.S. Senate 30 9 years & US CITIZEN Inhabitant of the State at the time of the election 6 years from January 3rd 2018
U.S. Congress 25 7 years & US CITIZEN Inhabitant of the State at the time of the election 2 years from January 3rd 2018

State Offices

Office Sought Age State Citizen/ Resident District Resident Term of Office Election Year
Governor 30 5 years & US CITIZEN 4 years from 3rd Wed. in January 2018
Lt. Governor 30 5 years & US CITIZEN 4 years from 3rd Wed. in January 2018
Comptroller US CITIZEN 4 years from 3rd Wed. in January 2018
Attorney General 10 years & US CITIZEN 4 years and Practice law in MD for 10 years 2018
State Senate 25 1 year & US CITIZEN 6 months 4 years from 2nd Wed. in January 2018
House of Delegates 21 1 year & US CITIZEN 6 months 4 years from 2nd Wed. in January 2018
Circuit Court Judge 30 5 years & US CITIZEN 6 months

15 years or until the age of 70 and Member - Maryland Bar

2018

County Offices

Office Sought Age State Citizen/ Resident District Resident Term of Office Election Year
County Executive US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
County Council US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
Co. Commissioners US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
County Treasurer US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
State's Attorney US CITIZEN Subdivision 2 years - Member - Maryland Bar 4 years 2018
Clerk of the Courts US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
Register of Wills US CITIZEN 4 years 2018
Orphans Court Judge US CITIZEN Subdivision 1 year 4 years 2018
Sheriff 25 5 years Reside w/in subdivision 4 years 2018
Board of Education US CITIZEN Vary 2018

Baltimore City Offices

Office Sought Age City Citizen/ Resident District Resident Term of Office Election Year
Mayor 25 a resident and qualified voter of Baltimore City for at least 1 year preceding the election 4 years
City Comptroller 25 a resident and qualified voter of Baltimore City for at least 1 year preceding the election 4 years
President City Council 25 a resident and qualified voter of Baltimore City for at least 1 year preceding the election 4 years
Member At Large City Council 21 resident and qualified voter of Baltimore City for 1 year preceding the election 4 years
District Member City Council 21 resident and qualified voter of the district for which you seek office at least 1 year preceding the election 4 years

Party Offices

Office Sought Age State Citizen/ Resident District Resident Term of Office Election Year
Central Committee 4 years 2018

These are Maryland’s 8 Congressional Districts 

In addition to this line-up, we will also have a U.S. Senate race in 2018 when radical leftist Democrat Ben Cardin is up for re-election.  We need to find a great candidate for this slot, especially since there is speculation that Cardin will be retiring from the Senate. With the popularity of Governor Hogan, someone like Former MD First Lady Kendell Ehrlich could pull off an upset and beat Democrat Ben Cardin or someone else.  The open Senate seat would create an interesting dynamic, since some of the above congressional seats may become vacant.

 

Now that you’ve got the offices and districts that need candidates in mind, it’s time for the next step.

Let’s Start with the Basics

Before you announce, it’s important to talk to your spouse, your family and close friends.  Let them know you are thinking about running.  RED FLAG: If your spouse isn’t on board with your plans, then you don’t want to run.  It will lead down a rough and bumpy road.

 

After you’ve gotten the blessing to run for office from your spouse and family, your first task is to find a campaign treasurer.  You can’t run without one, and you’ll want to find someone who is detail oriented, because you don’t want to be late with filings.   Your treasurer’s name will be on every piece of political material you put out, from your website to tee shirts.  A good rule to follow is that when in doubt, put the authority line on it.   I will address the authority line in a later column.

 

After you become a candidate and get a treasurer, you need to go to Annapolis to file. This is a cool location, and depending on which office you are running for, you should make a day of it and take plenty of pictures and videos on the day you file.  Consider doing a Facebook Live right after you file – just something brief.  Congratulations!  You are now a candidate.  My next column will cover do’s and don’ts  for setting up your campaign digital plan, first campaign event and how to build a donor list.

 

Final thoughts

Before you file and make the decision to run for office, depending on the office.  If you are running for State Senate or State Delegate contact the Republican Caucus and spend a day with some of our great elected Republicans in Annapolis.

 

If you are running for Congress, contact Rep. Dr. Andy Harris, talk to his people and find out the pros and cons to see if this is something you actually want to do.  Speak with the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) as well as the MDGOP.  When I first ran for House of Delegates, I spoke with Sen. Marty Madden and Larry Haines who were my political mentors during the 1994 race.  I also spoke with Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and old family friend Rep. Peter King. If you are interested in running for county office, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh is a great resource, as are many of our Republican County Executives and County Council members around the state.

 

One more thing: If you’d like to run for office or need advice, feel free to email me at dwight@bethesdaarchitects.com.  I have over 20 years of experience in managing and consulting to various campaigns.