Paul Ryan Will Appear on the Ballot for Two Different Offices

Paul Ryan will run for re-election to his U.S. House seat in Wisconsin, while also running as the Republican nominee for vice-president. See this story. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.


  1. So how many states are there that allow a person to run for two offices at the same time? I know there used to be an organization out of Houston working to close laws that said a person could ran for two or as many positions as they sought.

  2. Is this normal for incumbents to do in a year that they’re seeking a higher office?

    Did Biden do this in 2008?

  3. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    In most states, you can only run for Pres/VP and a lower office at the same time. For example, you can’t run for congress and state senate during the same time. Most election codes treat the positions of President and Vice-President to be completely separate from the other elections process.

  4. Nick, wouldn’t states group all Federal offices into the same category? That would include Congress as well.

  5. #2, yes, Biden did exactly the same thing in 2008. So did Joe Lieberman in 2000, and Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, and Lyndon Johnson in 1960, and maybe others I have forgotten about or never knew about.

  6. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    @4-Some states might group all federal offices together in another category, but most states only give that exemption about filing for two offices to the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates.

  7. Nick Kruse · · Reply

    This would be a good campaign strategy for third parties to use. Gary Johnson should run a Libertarian campaign for congress while also running for president. Jill Stein should do the same thing in Massachusetts. Use media attention from running for president to boost the local campaign.

  8. @8 yes it would.

    But what would happen if the candidate running for both offices wins both offices?

  9. Oops I meant @7

  10. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #8, if Ryan is elected vice-president and re-elected to his US House seat, he then resigns from Congress and Wisconsin holds a special election to fill his empty seat.

  11. In 1960, Lyndon Johnson ran for re-election to the Senate and for Vice-President. In 1988 Sen Lloyd Bentsen, also from Texas, ran for re-election to the Senate and for Vice-President. And in 2000, Sen Joe Lieberman was re-elected to the Senate while losing the Vice-Presidential race with a plurality of the popular vote.

    In each of those cases, the candidate ran as a Democrat for both races.

    In 1936 Rep William Lemke ran for re-election to Congress as a Republican, while he also campaigned as the Union Party candidate for President.

    Of these four, all were re-elected to their seat in the Senate or the House, while LBJ was the only candidate to be elected to the higher office.

  12. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #8 In 1960 LBJ was elected Vice President and simultaneously re-elected as US Senator from Texas. In June 1961 John Tower became the first Republican to win election in a statewide race since reconstruction in a special election to fill the senate vacancy.

  13. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #1 West Virginia permits legislators to also hold local office.

    Texas requires officials to resign if they run for another office mid-term (eg if a candidate had been elected in 2010, for a 4-year term than ran from 2011-2015, they could not run for another office in 2012, unless they resigned their other position.

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