How to Write a Letter of Candidacy

by Natalie Smith; Updated September 26, 2017

You have decided to run for office. Many potential candidates feel uncomfortable with nominating themselves for a position, but there is no need to be feel that way. A well-crafted and persuasive letter of candidacy can lay out your reasons for running for office in a manner that will not seem self-serving or arrogant. The purpose of a letter of candidacy is to let your constituents know that you are running for office and to kick off your campaign by explaining to them why you are a good candidate.

Step 1

Begin the letter by typing your address and skipping a line. Type the date and skip an additional line. Type the name of the recipient for the letter, followed by his or her organization name (such as the County Board of Elections) and the organization's address. Where you send the letter depends on what office you are seeking; if you aren't sure where to submit the letter, contact the committee that runs the election or your local party office. If you are writing to the general public, as in the case of a newspaper ad, omit this section.

Step 2

Create the salutation by typing "Dear Dr./Mr./Ms. (Name)" followed by a colon. Skip an additional line space. If the letter is going to the public, type "Dear (identify area) Voters," followed by a colon.

Step 3

State right away which office you are running for, and identify yourself. Give a brief, positive statement about why you would like to run for office.

Step 4

Explain your qualifications for the office. The letter of candidacy begins your campaign, but it is not a place to speak badly of your potential opposition or the previous holder of the office. This letter is meant to be a short, positive statement that indicates why you are a qualified candidate.

Step 5

Provide an overview of what you hope to achieve in office. Maintain a positive tone and focus on the results you hope to achieve.

Step 6

Thank the recipient for his or her time. Provide your contact information if the letter is going to an election board, such as your telephone number and e-mail address. If the letter is an open letter to the public, thank voters for their time and remind them to keep an eye on the election news so they may make an informed decision on Election Day.

Step 7

Close the letter by typing "Sincerely" and skipping three line spaces. Type your name. Print the letter and sign it above your typed name.

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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