What papers do I file to run for office?
Candidates must file two forms before officially qualifying:
- Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates, Division of Elections form DS/DE 9 – this form must be filed with the appropriate qualifying officer before the acceptance of any contribution or the expenditure of any funds by the candidate, including expenses by the candidate from their personal funds.
- Statement of Candidate, Division of Elections form DS/DE 84 – this form must be filed with the qualifying officer within 10 days of filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository form.
Once a candidate has filed the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, the qualifying officer will notify the candidate and their treasurer of the reporting dates for campaign treasurer’s reports. These reports show who contributed money to the candidate and how the candidate spent the money. Campaign treasurer reports are also filed with the qualifying officer. The qualifying officer can guide the candidate on which forms to file.
Where do I file?
The qualifying period is from noon on the 120th day before the primary election, to no later than noon on the 116th day before the primary election for candidates for:
- Federal office
- State attorney
- Public defender
- Judicial office
The qualifying period is from noon on the 71st day before the primary election, to no later than noon on the 67th day before the primary election for candidates for:
- State office
- Multi-county district office
- County office
- School board office
- Any other district office
Who is the qualifying officer?
The qualifying officer for a statewide or multi-county candidate is the Division of Elections in Tallahassee.
The qualifying officer for all county candidates is the county Supervisor of Elections.
The qualifying officer for municipal candidates is the City/Town Clerk – candidates for municipal offices should verify qualifying dates with the appropriate municipality.
How much does it cost to run for office?
The qualifying fee is either 4% of the annual salary for nonpartisan candidate positions, or 6% of the annual salary for partisan candidate positions.
- The filing fee is 3% of the annual salary of the office sought.
- The election assessment fee is 1% of the annual salary.
- The party assessment fee for partisan candidates is 2% of the annual salary.
The qualifying fee is based on the annual salary of the office sought as of July 1 the year before qualifying.
Can I use petitions instead of paying a qualifying fee?
Candidates have the option to waive the qualifying fee by collecting petitions instead. However, you may not collect signatures until you file the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository form.
The number of signatures required is based on the number of registered voters as of the previous general election’s book closing.
The Division of Elections creates the petition form, and it is available through the qualifying officer. You must use the official petition format.
The deadline for submitting petitions to the Supervisor of Elections is noon on the 28th day before the first day of the qualifying period of the office being sought.
Candidates should verify how many petition signatures are needed and the deadline for submitting petitions with the qualifying officer.