Qualifications for Elected Officials

T.C.A. 7-51-1501

An employee of a municipal government or of a metropolitan government shall not be qualified to run for elected office in the local governing body of such local governmental unit in which the employee is employed.

General Provisions Governing Qualifications for Office

The general qualifications of persons permitted to hold public office are set out in TCA 8-18-101. This section provides that all persons of the age of 18 years of age who are citizens of the United States and of this state, and have been inhabitants of the state, county, district, or circuit for the period required by the constitution and laws of the state, are qualified to hold office under the authority of this state except:

  • Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law
  • Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to this state, or any county thereof
  • Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election, and the election of any such person shall be void
  • Soldiers, Seamen, Marines, or Airmen in the regular Army or Navy or Air Force of the United States
  • Members of Congress, and persons holding any office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state of the union, or under the United States

City Charter Provisions

No person shall be eligible for the office of councilman unless the person has been a resident of the city and a citizen of Tennessee for at least a year prior to such person's election, and is at least 21 years of age. No person who holds any kind of an office, executive, judicial or legislative, under the United States, the State of Tennessee, Sullivan County, or an employee of the City of Bristol, Tennessee, shall be eligible for the office of councilman.