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United States Senator


TERM IN OFFICE:  6 Years (United States Constitution, Amendment XX, Section 1)

TERM BEGINS:  Noon, January 3, 2023 (United States Constitution, Amendment XX, Section 1)



  • Established Party:
    • Not more than 113 nor less than 106 days prior to the General Primary (10 ILCS 5/7-12)
    • November 25 – December 2, 2019 (for the 2020 election)
  • Independent and New Party:
    • Not more than 141 nor less than 134 days prior to the General Election (10 ILCS 5/10-6)
    • July 13 – July 20, 2020 (for the 2020 election)
  • All candidates will file with the Illinois State Board of Elections, 2329 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield, IL 62704-4503, either by mail or in person.


  • Petitions:
  • Statement of Candidacy:
  • Loyalty Oath (optional): All Candidates (SBE Form P-1C) (not currently available)
  • Statement of Economic Interests: Not required for Federal Offices


  • Established Party: 5,000 – 10,000 primary electors of their respective party [10 ILCS 5/7-10(a)]
  • Independent Party & New Party: The lesser of the following:
    • 1% of the number of voters who voted in the last statewide General Election, or
    • 25,000 qualified voters of the State
    • 2,500 (for 2020 election)
    • Source: 10 ILCS 5/10-2, 10-3


  • Financial Contributions: All candidates file with the Federal Election Commission, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20463. If you have specific questions, you may call them at (800) 424-9530.
  • Federal filing requirements are subject to change by the FEC. Contact the FEC for the latest information on filing requirements.

DUTIES (Source: Congress Foundation):

  • Make laws
  • Raise revenue, authorize and appropriate federal funds, and manage the federal debt
  • Provide for the common defense
  • Provide for the general welfare
  • Regulate commerce among the states and with foreign nations
  • Establish the federal court system and define federal crimes
  • Declare war
  • Maintain and regulate the military
  • Direct a census every 10 years
  • Impeachment:  Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to impeach a government official, in effect serving as prosecutor. The Senate has the sole power to conduct impeachment trials, essentially serving as jury and judge. Since 1789 the Senate has tried 19 federal officials, including two presidents.
  • Nominations:  The Constitution provides that the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States… (Article 2, Section 2)." The Senate has always jealously guarded its power to review and approve or reject presidential appointees to executive and judicial branch posts.
  • Treaties:  The Constitution gives the Senate the power to approve, by a two-thirds vote, treaties made by the executive branch. The Senate has rejected relatively few of the hundreds of treaties it has considered, although many have died in committee or been withdrawn by the president. The Senate may also amend a treaty or adopt changes to a treaty. The president may also enter into executive agreements with foreign nations that are not subject to Senate approval.
  • Expulsion:  Article I, section 5, of the U.S. Constitution provides that each house of Congress may "…punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Since 1789 the Senate has expelled only 15 of its entire membership.
  • Censure:  Article I, section 5, of the U.S. Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Censure is a form of discipline used by the Senate against its members (sometimes referred to as condemnation or denouncement). A formal statement of disapproval, a censure does not remove a senator from office. Since 1789 the Senate has censured nine of its members.
  • Filibuster and Cloture:  The Senate has a long history of using the filibuster—a term dating back to the 1850s in the United States—to delay debate or block legislation. Unlimited debate remained in place in the Senate until 1917, when the Senate adopted Rule 22 that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote—a tactic known as "cloture." In 1975 the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds (67) to three-fifths (60) of the 100-member Senate.
  • Investigations:  Congress has conducted investigations of malfeasance in the executive branch—and elsewhere in American society—since 1792. The need for congressional investigation remains a critical ingredient for restraining government and educating the public.
  • Contested Senate Elections:  The United States Constitution gives each house of Congress the power to be the judge of the “elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members” (Article I, section 5). Since 1789 the Senate has carefully guarded this prerogative and has developed its own procedures for judging the qualifications of its members and settling contested elections.