Learn how to run for public office, important deadlines and helpful tools for candidates.
Who is the Qualifying Officer
The qualifying officer for all county candidates is the Supervisor of Elections, while the qualifying officer for a statewide or multi-county candidate is the Division of Elections in Tallahassee. The qualifying officer for municipal candidates is the City/Town Clerk.
The qualifying officer can offer assistance to those who wish to know more about the process of becoming a candidate.
Becoming a Candidate
A candidate is defined in 97.021(4), Florida Statutes , as any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
- Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of a petitioning process;
- Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate;
- Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office;
- Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository; or
- Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate's oath as required by law.
However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.
For those wishing to become a candidate, they must meet the following criteria:
- Meet residency and registration requirements in accordance with Florida Statutes; Judicial candidates must be a member of the Florida Bar for the preceding five years;
- Are not a registered member of another political party other than the one under which they are filing/qualifying;
- Hasn't been a candidate for nomination for any other political party for a period of six months preceding the general election.
- County Commission candidates must reside in the district for which they are qualifying at the time of being elected to office;
- School Board candidates must reside in the district for which they are qualifying at the time of qualifying;
- County Judges must reside in the county at the time of assuming office;
- County Constitutional Officers must reside in the county at the time of assuming office;
- If required, one's current position or office must be resigned under the "resign to run" law by the appropriate deadlines (99.012(3), Florida Statutes ).