A United States senator is an elected official serving in the senate, which is part of the United States Congress. Senators are elected for six year terms. They're assigned to serve on committees in which they review proposed laws, called bills. Each committee focuses on a different topic, such as budget, defense, health etc. Once a bill is passed in committee, senators must vote on the bill. If it's passed, the bill becomes law [source: Education].
There are only three eligibility requirements for a United States senator.
- You must be at least 30 years old.
- You must have been a United States citizen for at least nine years.
- You must live in the state you want to represent.
Although there are no set rules on how to become a senator, here is list of recommendations that will help you become a senator.
- Education: It's important for a senator to have a good educational background in political science and law. Most senators have at least a master's degree in one of those fields.
- Get involved: Most senators work their way up the ladder before becoming a senator. Get yourself elected as a local committee person or assembly person. Establish a track record and get elected to state office, then as a local congressman and finally to the United States Senate.
- Obtain your party support: Gaining the support of the party politicians, known as the "party machine" can go a long way in helping you run for the senate.
- Establish a campaign committee: Appoint a campaign manager, select a public relations and advertising person, and hire a fund raising manager. The most important person on your staff will be your fund raising manager. Getting elected as a senator is very expensive, so the more money you raise, the more you can advertise and get your name recognized.
- Get signatures and file: You will need a minimum number of signatures from voters registered in your party to get your name on the ballot. You must also file your candidacy with your state's Secretary of State.
- Campaign: You're now ready to run for the senate. All that remains is to campaign heavily. With a bit of luck, you will be your state's next senator [source: Mahalo].
Originally Published: Apr 26, 2011