Run For Office as a Libertarian--"Carry the Flag"

Help For Missouri Libertarian Party Candidates

Thank you for your consideration. People can only vote Libertarian if there is a Libertarian on the ballot.

Although we encourage you to attend the state convention, there are two main considerations.

(In election years, the Missouri LP State Convention is held the weekend before the last Tuesday in February. Plan on attending. If you are going to run for a statewide office, (US Senate, Governor, Lt. Gov., Attorney Gen., Secretary of State, Treasurer or Auditor) you may need to win the support of the delegates who attend the convention.) (See MoLP Bylaws, Article 10)

1. Filing for Office

Because the Missouri Libertarian Party has "ballot access", it's fairly easy to run for office, or "Carry the Flag". You need to:

  • be qualified for the office,
  • pay a fee and file with the Secretary of State or your County Clerk,
  • fill out occasional forms for the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Qualifications and Filing Procedures

The Missouri Secretary of State (SOS) maintains two separate web pages with information for candidates. One page has information about qualifications to run for office, and the other gives information about filing.

Form 5120

The SOS website also provides a link to Form 5120, the tax affidavit required of all but federal candidates.

The First Day of Filing

On the first day of filing, Department of Revenue (DOR) agents are on hand at the SOS office where candidates file to let you take care of Form 5120 on-the-spot. After the first day of filing, you must allow time to go by the DOR office on the 6th floor of the Harry S. Truman Office Building at 301 W. High Street to get Form 5120 notarized and copied before proceeding to the SOS office. The person handling this for the DOR is Michelle Buechter and she can be reached at 573-751-9568. The office number is 630 on the 6th floor.

Missouri LP members are also on hand at the SOS office on the first day of filing to take your filing fee and give you the required receipt you present to the SOS employees when you file. New for 2018, you must have a receipt from the Missouri LP when you file. The SOS office will not take your filing fee. Contact Greg Tlapek at 573-225-7187 or Bill Slantz at 636-922-1600 to get a receipt.

2. Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) Paperwork

The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) deals with campaign finance.

We can help you with your paperwork if you do not plan on spending much money.

The spending threshold you did not want to exceed in the 2016 election (to avoid paperwork required of candidates who spend enough money to require them to form a "candidate committee") was $500 per each election (primary and general). That number is adjusted each election cycle, and unless you are going to exceed it by a wide margin, you should stay below it. Of that $500, only $325 could be given to you by another single individual.

On the Day You File

When you file for office, you will receive a package of information at the Secretary of State's office. The two most important things you get in the package are a "Personal Financial Disclosure Statement", and forms to either create a committee or claim "exemption" from the need to do so.

-"Personal Financial Disclosure Statement" - Every candidate, except for US Congress, must fill it out and make sure the MEC receives it by the deadline. It basically wants to know who you work for and if you have 10% or more ownership in any companies. There is a link to it below.

-You must also file a form with the MEC to create a committee, or else a form of "exemption" because you do not plan to spend much money. (Read the bullet point items below the following note.)

Call Greg Tlapek, the Executive Director for the Missouri Libertarian Party. He will be glad to talk you through all of this. It really is not very difficult. We are a political party and we must offer people candidates for whom they can vote.

Note: Candidates for US Congress are not considered "candidates" by the Federal Election Committee (FEC) until you raise or spend $5,000. You do not fill out Form 5120 or the Personal Financial Disclosure Statement. Keep records, in case you decide to exceed the $5,000 threshold. Nonetheless, your literature needs to say "Paid for by Candidate's Name".

There is a learning curve, but it is not steep. Unless they form a committee, most candidates do this:

--Fill out the Personal Financial Disclosure Statement within 14 days of the close of the filing period. The deadline this year is April 12, 2016. Answers to FAQ's for candidates can be found here.

--Fill out the Statement of Exemption or Rejection (claim exemption), and the accompanying "Electronic Filing Agreement (Statement of Exemption)" (scroll down to see it). It can be done in advance or even as late as early July, but best done soon after filing.

--Fill out an Exempt Candidate Statement of Limited Activity several times throughout the campaign when prompted to do so by the MEC.

--Put "Paid for by Candidate's Name" on their literature or on a newspaper advertisement.

--You don't have to have your picture taken to run for office, but you will probably use it if you do.

Appendix A

Offices that file with the Secretary of State in 2018:

  • 1 U.S. Senator
  • State Auditor
  • 8 U.S. Representatives
  • 17 State Senators - even-numbered districts
  • 163 State Representatives
  • Various Judges

Offices that file with the local election authority in 2018:

  • Associate Circuit Judge
  • Presiding Commissioner
  • Clerk of the Circuit Court
  • County Clerk
  • Collector of Revenue
  • County Treasurer (3rd Class Counties except under township organization)
  • County Auditor (1st Class Counties without charter form of government and 2nd Class Counties)
  • Recorder of Deeds
  • Prosecuting Attorney
  • Township or Ward Committeeman
  • Township or Ward Committeewoman

Township or Ward Committee people (If you are interested enough in the Libertarian Party to be reading this, you should absolutely file to be a committee person for the Party every two years. Read this information on our website about being a committee person.)

The National Libertarian Party has general information on running for office as a Libertarian.

If you are interested in running for office as a Libertarian please contact the Missouri LP by e-mail at or Greg Tlapek, the Executive Director, by phone at (573) 225-7187.

Thank you sincerely for considering "Carrying the Flag".