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

The Filing Period for the 2016 election is closed.

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", (meaning our candidates do not have to petition to get their names on the ballot), it's fairly easy to "Carry the Flag". You need to:

  • be qualified for the office,
  • file to run for office with the Secretary of State or your County Clerk,
  • pay a filing fee, and
  • fill out occasional forms for the Missouri Ethics Commission. (See item 2.)

The Missouri Secretary of State (SOS) maintains two separate pages with information for candidates. One page has information about qualifications to run for office, and the other give information about filing. The graphics above refer to those pages. The SOS pages also provide a link to Form 5120, the tax affidavit required of all but federal candidates. (New to 2016, the SOS office requires candidates to present a copy of Form 5120 that has been stamped by the Department of Revenue (DOR), so except for the first day of filing when agents are on hand, you will have to allow time to go by the DOR office on the 6th floor of the Harry S. Truman Office Building at 301 W. High Street.)

2. Doing the Paperwork

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 annually, and unless you are going to exceed it by a wide margin, you should stay below it. Of that $500, only $325 may be given to you by another single individual. The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) deals with campaign finance.

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.

-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 bold items below the following note.)

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 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. Most candidates (unless they form a committee) 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 "Electronic Filing Agreement (Statement of Exemption)" which accompanies it (scroll down to see it). It can be done in advance or even as late as July 3, 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.

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".