If one has undergone a felony conviction, it is going to become a heavy burden to carry. An ex-felon loses several rights and at times, one feels that one is only eligible for jobs hiring felons.

In this article, we will consider if an ex-felon withholds the right to run for public office.

Yes, felons are eligible to run for public office as long as no law explicitly states that they can’t. Florida and Texas are a few of the federal states that prevent ex-felons from holding public office.

It is difficult to deny that for an ex-felon, the journey to running for and holding a public office becomes tougher. People might have a different perception about you. One has to take it in the stride.

Let’s take a look at a few of the important matters that we should be aware of about running for public office with a felony conviction:

Requirements to Hold Public Office

As we have specified earlier in the article, different states have their own laws to specify whether or not ex-felons are eligible to run for public office. In some states, this is completely permitted. In other states, the felony conviction has to be 10 years old or older before an ex-felon can run for public office. 

In some states, an ex-felon is not permitted to hold a public office at any time. This becomes more so the case if the individual has been involved in a crime associated with intentional poor management of public funds, fraud, or deceit. 

Now, if an ex-felon intends to run for an election, he should be keeping an eye out for two things. One is general qualifications and the other is federal requirements. 

General Qualifiactions

  • You have to be a primary or a full-time resident of the state.
  • You should have lived in the district for a specific amount of time.
  • If there are any age-related requirements, you have to meet them.
  • Other qualifications also need to be met. Just as an instance, if you intend to run for legal office, you have to be a registered lawyer.

Federal requirements will be variable depending on the state in which you wish to run for public office. For Congress and the President, federal standards are different.

You have to be a US citizen for at least 7 years and be aged 25 or above to run for Congress. But, you can run for President only if you are 35 or above, a US citizen for at least 14 years, and a natural-born US citizen.


A felony conviction is not going to entirely exhaust your dream of running for public office. But it does add a certain degree of additional difficulty to the journey. 

The bright side to be looked into, here, is that following a conviction, the Constitution does not ban you from running for public office. If you intend to commit yourself to public service, move ahead.

ReeCareers is an organization that understands ex-felons’ situation and makes available a host of resources for them, including jobs hiring felons, Resume Writing for Convicted Felons, Rehabilitation Programs for Felons, and Felon Housing Programs.

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