Requirements for Office

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Offices and Terms

Below is a list of the elective offices that citizens of Philadelphia may pursue.  Next to each office is the duration of the term and examples of the years in which each office is up for election.  Offices marked with an (*) are party-specific, and therefore only elected in Primary Elections.

Local Offices:

  • Mayor – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc. (No more than two consecutive terms)
  • District Attorney – 4 years; 2009, 2013, etc.
  • City Controller – 4 years; 2009, 2013, etc.
  • City Commissioner – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc.
  • Register of Wills – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc.
  • Sheriff – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc.
  • At-Large City Council – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc.
  • District City Council – 4 years; 2011, 2015, etc.
  • Judge of Elections – 4 years; 2009, 2013, etc.
  • Inspector of Elections – 4 years; 2009, 2013, etc.
  • Committeeperson* – 4 years; 2010, 2014, etc.

State Offices:

  • Governor – 4 years; 2010, 2014, etc. (No more than two consecutive terms)
  • Lieutenant Governor * – 4 years; 2010, 2014, etc.  Nominees are elected in the Primary Election and run as a part of the gubernatorial ticket in the General Election. (No more than two consecutive terms)
  • Attorney General – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.
  • Auditor General – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.
  • State Treasurer – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.
  • State Senate – 4 years; odd numbered State Senate seats are elected in 2012, 2016, etc.  Even numbered State Senate seats are elected in 2010, 2014, etc.
  • State House of Representatives – 2 years; 2012, 2014, etc.
  • State Committee* – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.
  • Convention Delegate* – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.
  • Alternative Delegate* – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc.

Federal Offices:

  • President – 4 years; 2012, 2016, etc. (No more than two terms)
  • U.S. Senate – 6 years; the seat held by Senator Casey is elected in 2012, 2018, etc.  The seat held by Senator Toomey is elected in 2010, 2016, etc. 
  • U.S. House of Representatives – 2 years; 2012, 2014, etc.

Judicial Offices:

  • Supreme Court of the Commonwealth
  • Superior Court
  • Commonwealth Court
  • Common Pleas Court
  • Municipal Court

Age, Residency, and Citizenship Requirements for Elective Offices

This chart, from the Pennsylvania Department of State, shows the age, residency, and citizenship requirements to seek elective office for federal, state, local, or judicial offices in Pennsylvania. 

This chart shows the age, residency, and citizenship requirements for local offices:

Office Age Residency Citizenship
Mayor 25 3 years Must be a citizen
District Attorney 25 1 year; 2 years as a lawyer Must be a citizen
City Controller 25 1 year Must be a citizen
City Commissioner 25 3 years Must be a citizen
Register of Wills 25 1 year Must be a citizen
Sheriff 25 1 year Must be a citizen
At Large City Council 25 1 year Must be a citizen
District City Council 25 1 year in district Must be a citizen
Judge of Elections 18 Registered in division Must be a citizen
Inspector of Elections 18 Registered in division Must be a citizen
Committeeperson 18 Registered in division Must be a citizen

For more detailed information about running for an elective office in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State.