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What does it take to run for Indiana governor?

The southern exterior of the Indiana Statehouse, flanked in front by two large trees.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Qualifications for governor are primarily determined by the Indiana Constitution.

What are the requirements to run for governor in Indiana? That's what one member of our audience wanted to know.

Officially becoming a candidate for governor is relatively easy. Getting onto the ballot, however, is a much higher bar.

Qualifications for governor are primarily determined by the Indiana Constitution. A person must be a citizen of the United States for at least five years and have lived in Indiana for at least the five years before taking office. They must also be at least 30 years old.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.

State law determines the other requirements. They must officially declare themselves as candidates, forms which are filed with the secretary of state. That allows them to raise money for their campaigns.

But that’s the easy step. For major party candidates, getting on the primary ballot is the hard part. They must collect signatures from at least 500 registered voters in each of the state’s nine congressional districts, for a total of at least 4,500 signatures.

The deadline to do so is early February of the election year, about three months before the primary election.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.