Governor race 2018: what are the qualifications to run?

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- While we’re still nearly a year and a half away from the governor’s race in Michigan, more than a handful of people have already announced their plans to run for our state’s next leader.

But what qualifications does a potential candidate need before they officially file?

In order for a person to run for governor in Michigan, the state constitution requires two things:

The candidate must be at least 30 years old and a registered voter in the state.

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, candidates running for governor must file 15,000 signatures with nearly 100 of those signatures from at least seven of the state’s congressional districts.

Based off what we know now, 11 people have launched committees to run for governor in 2018 however, a couple of them plan to run independent campaigns.

Some of the potential candidates include former Interim Ingham County Prosecutor and Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and Abdul El-Sayed who just threw his hat in the ring last week.

Now just because they’ve announced their plans to run does not make anything official yet…they’ve only launched their campaign committees to start raising money and gain name recognition.

Because the election is more than a year away, a spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State says he expects more people to announce their plans to run in the coming months.

“No candidates have filed to be on the August ballot yet…what they’ve done is they’ve opened candidate committees which allow them to raise and spend money to advance their gubernatorial campaign. There are a number of candidates who have already done that and there are some rumored candidates that already have other candidate committees that allow them to raise and spend money and then they can put that money in a gubernatorial campaign committee if they wanted to. Obviously running for governor is a very expensive proposition so a lot of candidates want to start early and start raising that money for next year,” said Fred Woodhams, Communications Spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State.

Woodhams says campaigns such as these can cost millions of dollars to run which is why a few potential candidates including Whitmer and El-Sayed have already gotten started.

Although it’s still early and no candidates have officially filed to run for governor for the 2018 August primary, the deadline to enter is the April 24, 2018.

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