So, you think you may want to run for office? Most first-time candidates, and many experienced candidates, have lots of questions about the process. In an effort to address some of those questions, what follows is an explanation of some of the basics of becoming a candidate for office. By no means is this meant to be a comprehensive explanation of everything a candidate needs to know. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Linda Hoover, Voter Services and Candidate Qualifying Manager at (904) 269-6350.
In addition, we have prepared a Candidate Frequently Asked Questions page, you may view a presentation that outlines the candidate qualifying process. The information in the presentation is intended merely to summarize the process of becoming a candidate, and is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of all relevant portions of Florida's Election Laws.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CANDIDATE?
A candidate is any person to whom any one or more of the following applies. A person who:
HOW DO I BECOME A CANDIDATE?
The first thing that you must do is file the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, Form DS-DE 9, with the filing officer. A candidate must designate the office for which he or she is a candidate at the same time he or she appoints a campaign treasurer and designates a campaign depository. A candidate may appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository at any time, but no later than the date a candidate files for office. Nothing prohibits a person from announcing his or her intention to become a candidate prior to filing a Form DS-DE 9, so long as no contributions are received and no expenditures are made.
Next, the Statement of Candidate, Form DS-DE 84, must be filed by the candidate with the filing officer within 10 days after filing Form DS-DE 9. This form states that the candidate has been provided access to, read, and understands the requirements of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes. NOTE: Judicial candidates must complete the Statement of Candidate for Judicial Candidate, Form DS-DE 83 in addition to the DS-DE 84.
WHAT IS QUALIFYING FOR OFFICE, AND HOW AND WHEN DO I DO IT?
Qualifying is a term that is used when referring to the legal process to get a candidate's name on the ballot to be considered for election. The process, which is described below, is required by law.
Candidate qualification for Federal, State and Local Candidates begins NOON, June 16, 2014, and ends NOON, June 20, 2014. For Judicial Candidates, qualifying begins NOON, April 28, 2014, and ends NOON, May 2, 2014.
For local offices in Clay County, your filing officer is:
The Honorable Chris H. Chambless
Clay County Supervisor of Elections
Post Office Box 337
500 N. Orange Avenue
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
For multi-county and statewide offices, your filing officer is:
Division of Elections
RA Gray Building, Room 316
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
Phone: (850) 245-6200
At qualifying time, you must file additional papers, which can be obtained from your filing officer. You may file your papers in person with the filing officer, or you may mail your qualifying papers to the above address. Qualifying papers must be received, and in order, at the office of the Supervisor of Elections prior to noon on the last day of qualifying.
DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO QUALIFY?
Candidates must pay a qualifying fee (using campaign check only) or file by the petition process, unless filing as a write-in candidate.
Qualifying fees and offices to be filled