Today, I am officially announcing an exploratory committee to run for the president of the United States in 2020. Is this a joke? No. What’s up with the exploratory committee? I’ll get to that.
As children, we were all told that we could be anything when we grew up, even the president of the United States. This year, I suppose I am a grown up, at least according to the constitution. I am now 35, which is the minimum age you must be in order to become president of the United States. As a citizen, I think it is important to participate in the political process and part of that participation is understanding how the process actually works.
In order for you to “officially” be a candidate for president, or any other office for that matter, you need to meet various requirements. In the case of president, you must raise or spend $5,000 on your campaign. Then you have ten days to file a “Form 2” with the Federal Elections Commission and appoint a campaign committee including a treasurer.
Although it’s a fairly low bar, it is the first of several safeguards from “prank” candidates. It also makes anyone who does not have $5,000 to throw around seriously consider whether this is worth it. That is the first reason for forming an “exploratory committee” rather than “officially” filing to run.
“Ballot access” or actually having your name appear on the ballot for an election is the next hurdle. It varies by state, in some cases by county, and differs between the primary and the general election. Generally speaking, you can either be appointed your party’s official candidate (however there are limits to what parties appear on a ticket) or you can collect a certain number of signatures. In the case of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, if you belong to one of the major political parties, you need 2,000 signatures from voters registered with that party. If you are not running under a major party, you “must obtain signatures from qualified registered electors of the district in an amount equal to at least 2% of the largest entire vote cast for an elected candidate at the last election within the district.”
Due to the fact that I am currently working 2 jobs and am a grad student, my wife has advised me not to run. However, these initial stages of the exploratory process have already been informative, and I am curious to hear more from readers about their experiences with political campaigns.
I would also like to reassert that I meet the base requirements to be president of the United States. I am a natural born United States citizen. I am 35. And I have lived her for at least the last 14 years. I may not be the most qualified person for the job, but I am certainly not the least. If my “official” candidacy does not pan out, you can always consider me for a write in.