A write-in candidate is a candidate for public office who name does not appear on a election ballot and must be written in by voters. Write-in candidates rarely succeed in winning elections because of the disadvantage of not having their name on the ballot.
Some political candidates are forced to run as write-in candidates due to a late dropout of the planned Party candidate. One such example can be seen in the 2006 representative race between Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Democrat candidate Nick Lampson. DeLay was forced to step out of the race because of allegations of illegal gerrymandering and was replaced by Republican Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. Because of Sekula-Gibbs late entrance into the race, she was forced to become a write-in candidate. Although election polls had both candidates closely tied, Nick Lampson went on to win the election.
- Word Net, Princeton University, 
- Write-in out in cold in forums, Madison Eagle (Newspaper), September 27, 2007
- "Democrat Nick Lampson to take over former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's District 22 seat", The Daily Texan, Brad Gray, November 2006