How to File for Office

You may notify the Registry by letter (Letter of Intent) or you may officially file (no earlier than November 8, 2017) with the Secretary of State or County Clerk to obtain ballot access.

You must do one of the above prior to accepting contributions or making expenditures.  This includes the use of the candidate's own money.

Option 1: Letter of Intent

If you wish to start your campaign before you are allowed to officially file for ballot access with the Secretary of State or County Clerk, you may file a Letter of Intent with the Registry.  The notice shall include the candidate's name, birth date, mailing address, phone number, the office the candidate plans to seek, the year in which the election will be held, the treasurer's name, mailing address and phone number.  Also, include the name and address of the financial institution designated as the campaign depository.

Individuals who notify the Registry in a year preceding the election of the intent to become a candidate shall be required to file quarterly campaign finance statements until the year that office will appear on the ballot.  In the year of the election, the candidates will file campaign finance statements required for the current election based on the indicated spending option selected on the
KREF 001.KRS 121.180(3)(b)

The Republican Party can provide a sample Letter of Intent.

Option 2: Declaration of Notification (Filing Papers)

You must file appropriate documents (notification and declaration/nominating petitions or write-in intent) with the Secretary of State or County Clerk not earlier than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in November of the year preceding the year the office will appear on the ballot (November 8th, 2017).

These forms can be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of State or your County Clerk.  You can also access these documents online by going to the Secretary of State's website (sos.ky.gov) Under the elections section, you will find "Candidate Filing Forms."  Click on that and continue on working through the options to get to the forms.  This process is pretty self-explanatory, but if you are filing for a partisan office, make sure you select "Republican/Democrat in Primary Election." Even if you do not expect to have a primary opponent, you are still seeking the Republican primary nomination.  When you download the actual forms, there are several steps that are critical.

  1. Make sure you fill out your name the way you want it to appear on the ballot.  If for some reason, the name you are known by is not your legal name, please call the Secretary of State's office at (502) 564-3490.  There is a process for that, but is a bit convoluted and likely not needed to explain here.
  2. You will be submitting the form to either your County Clerk or the Secretary of State.
  3. You will need to fill out the name of the precinct in which you reside. If you are unsure of that, you can contact your county clerk.  Or, you can go to the Secretary of State's website (https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/vic)
  4. Your two witness signatures MUST come from registered Republicans who reside in your district.  If you have any questions about their party registration or residence, you can verify their voter information on the Secretary of States's website (https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/vic)
  5. Your forms, including the signatures of your witnesses, must be notarized. If you do not know a notary, most banks will provide notary services free of charge for their customers. Make sure your notary's certificate has not expired.
Is There Anything Else I Must File?  KRS 121.160; KRS 121.180
Appointment of Campaign Trasurer and Optional Request for Reporting Exemption (KREF 001)

At the time you officially file with the Secretary of State or County Clerk for ballot access, you must also file an Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Optional Request for Reporting Exemption form (KREF 001). The Registry is notified of your official filing by receiving the KREF 001 form.  The Secretary of State or County Clerk will forward this form to the Registry.

This forms is used to designate an individual to serve as your campaign treasurer, indicate the financial institution that your campaign will use,and make your request for a reporting exemption.  The exemption determines how many reports you must file.

You may appoint any registered Kentucky voter s your campaign treasurer, or you may decide to be your own treasurer.

The Secretary of State or County Clerk will regain the original form, provide you with a copy and forward a copy to the Registry.  Do not send the form directly to the Registry.  The Registry cannot accept the form unless it has first been filed with the appropriate filing officer.

Pay particular attention to the following:

  • Sec 2 - You are seeking a primary nomination.  The date of the primary election is May 22, 2018.
  • Sec 3 - If you are unsure of a treasurer at this time, feel free to list either yourself or your spouse, if applicable.  This can always be changed at a later date.
  • Sec 4 - You do not want to request any reporting exemptions in either the primary or general elections.  For fundraising purposes, it is critical that you do not request any exemptions.

After the forms are completed, you are allowed to mail them in.  However, it is advisable that you personally bring them and file them at your County Clerk or the Secretary of State's office.