Becoming A Candidate

IMPORTANT NOTICE
You MUST be a FILED candidate before you can open a campaign bank
account, collect petitions, collect ANY contributions or
make any expenditures.

What is a Candidate?

A candidate is any person who

1. Seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process;
2. Seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate
3. Receives contributions or makes expenditures or consents for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bring about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office;
4. Appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository; or
5. Files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate's oath as required by law.
(Section 106.011(13), Fla. Stat.)

What to File

(Forms are available at the Division of Elections website)

Form DS-DE 9 Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates

is the first document that must be filed with the filing officer to become a candidate. At that time the candidate must designate the office for which he or she is running. A candidate can appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository at any time, but no later than the date the candidate qualifies for office. Nothing prohibits a person from announcing their intention to become a candidate prior to filing DS-DE 9, as long as no contributions are received and no expenditures are made.

Note: A candidate for a community development district or special district who does not collect contributions and whose only expense is the filing fee or petitions signature verification fee is not required to appoint a campaign treasurer or designate a primary campaign depository. See CDD or Special Districts page for information.

Form DS-DE 9:
1. Shall be filed with the filing officer prior to opening the campaign account.
2. Is not effective until the campaign treasurer signs it and it is filed with the filing officer.
3. It is not considered filed upon mailing.
4. Shall be on file with the filing officer prior to the candidate accepting contributions or making any expenditures, or authorizing another to accept contributions or make expenditures on the person's behalf.
5. Shall be on file with the filing officer prior to obtaining signatures on a DS-DE 104, Candidate Petition.

Form DS-DE 84 Statement of Candidate

must be filed with the filing officer within ten (10) days after filing Form DS-DE 9. This form states that the candidate has received, read, and understands the requirements of Chapter 106, Fla..Stat. The execution and filing of the statement of candidate does not in and of itself create a presumption that any violation of Chapter 106, Fla. Stat., or Chapter 104, Fla. Stat., is a willful violation as defined in Section 106.37, Fla. Stat.

Form DS-DE 83 Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office

must be filed by each candidate for judicial office, including an incumbent judge, within ten (10) days after filing Form DS-DE 9. This form states that the judicial candidate has received, read, and understands the requirements of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct. (Sections 105.031, 106.021 and 106.023, Fla. Stat.)

Once the forms listed above are filed with the appropriate filing officer, a candidate may open a bank account, accept contributions, make expenditures, and may obtain signatures on a petition.
 

Filing Officer

Once you have decided to run for office, you will need to File and Qualify with the appropriate officer. The Filing and Qualifying Officer for county candidates is the Supervisor of Elections. The Filing and Qualifying Officer for a statewide or multi-county candidate is the Division of Elections in Tallahassee. The Filing and Qualifying Officer for municipal candidates is the Municipal Clerk.

Qualifying Procedure

The qualifying period is when you must finish the process to have your name placed on the ballot. This qualifying period is between the 71st day and 67th day prior to the primary election for judicial candidates and between the 120th day and 116th day prior to the primary election for all other candidates. The following forms are due during the qualifying week.

1. Candidate Oath
2. Financial Disclosure or Statement of Financial Interests

A candidate must also pay a qualifying fee. A check drawn on the depository named in form DS-DE 9 for the full amount of the qualifying fee is submitted during qualifying.

A candidate may collect and submit petitions to the Supervisor of Elections in lieu of paying the qualifying fee. Each office has a specific number of petitions needed to qualify. If the required petitions are not submitted by the deadline, the candidate must pay the full amount of the qualifying fee to qualify for office.

Prospective Candidate Packets

The Supervisor of Elections offers packets of information for prospective candidates. They are available for download or you may stop by the Supervisor of Elections at 105 E. Monroe St. to pick one up. Once a candidate files for an office, the Supervisor of Elections will provide information for the new campaign.

2022 CDD or Special Districts
2022 Candidate Information

2023 Candidate Information

Resources

Offices Up For Election
Offices Up For Election in 2022 With Incumbents   
Offices Fact Sheets
Upcoming Elections
Becoming a Candidate  
Prohibition of Political Campaign Activities  
Conflict of Interest/Resign To Run/Hatch Act  
Resign to Run Law Reference Guide  
Affidavit of Intention  
Affidavit for Nickname  
Guidelines for Residency Requirements  
Candidate Forms
Candidate & Treasurer's Handbook - PDF

Candidate Workshop - PDF
Campaign Tips