Becoming a Candidate


What happens first?

Nothing prohibits a person from announcing their intention to become a candidate prior to filing Form DS-DE 9, as long as:

  • NO bank account is open
  • NO contributions are received
  • NO expenditures are made
  • NO signatures are obtained on a candidate petition

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 the same 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.

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What is a Candidate?

A candidate is defined in 97.021(6), 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.

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Who can be a Candidate?

  • Anyone meeting residency and registration requirements in accordance with Florida Statutes (County offices- see Division of Elections Opinion 94-04);
  • Anyone who is not a registered member of another political party other than the one under which they are filing/qualifying;
  • Anyone who has not been a candidate for nomination for any other political party for a period of 365 days before the beginning of qualifying.
  • Write-In candidate must meet the residency requirement of the office sought.

NOTE...

  • 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;
  • If required, one's current position or office must be resigned under the "resigned to run" law. The written resignation must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office he/she intends to seek (99.012(3), Florida Statutes).

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When do I announce my candidacy?

  • Candidacy may be announced at any time;
  • Must file Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Form DS-DE 9) with the Supervisor of Elections' office BEFORE any contributions are accepted or expenditures are made (106.021, Florida Statutes);*
  • Must file a Statement of Candidate (Form DS-DE 84) within ten (10) days of filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (106.023, Florida Statutes).*

* Excluding Special District candidates who do not intend to collect or expend campaign funds.

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Is it possible to run for a different office after I become a candidate?

Yes, permitted under 106.021(1)(a), Florida Statutes, you may change your mind and run for a different office after becoming a candidate, providing that you:

  • File a new Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, designating the new office;
    • File the new appointment prior to the end of qualifying
    • This includes changing seats, districts, or groups
  • Within 15 days of the new appointment, notify, in writing, all contributors and offer to return their contributions pro rata. The Request for Return of Contributions (Form DS-DE 86) may be used for such purpose;
  • If, after 30 days from this notice, the contributor has not requested his contribution to be returned, you may use the funds in the campaign for your newly designated office.

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Are there restrictions on running for partisan office as No Party Affiliation?

Legislation passed recently by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor DeSantis establishes new requirements for candidates who wish to change their party affiliation to run for a partisan office.

Previous law required candidates seeking to qualify for nomination as a candidate of a political party to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have not been a registered member of any other political party in the 365 days before candidate qualifying begins. However, it did not prohibit a registered member of a political party to qualify to run with No Party Affiliation (NPA), regardless of the 365-day period. Nor did it prohibit a person registered with No Party Affiliation (NPA) from changing their party affiliation within the 365-day period to qualify for nomination as a candidate of a political.

Under the new law, at qualifying all candidates for a partisan office will be required to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have been a registered member of the party whose nomination as a candidate they are seeking for 365 days before qualifying begins. In addition, candidates who wish to run with No Party Affiliation (NPA) for a partisan office will be required to affirm in writing, under oath, that they have not been a registered member of any political party for 365 days before qualifying begins.

These requirements apply to partisan offices only, and do not apply to non-partisan offices. Qualifying for federal, state, and local offices begins on June 13, 2022. The 365-day deadline for candidates to change party affiliation is June 13, 2021. Any person who wishes to change their party affiliation may do so using a Florida Voter Registration Application or through RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov.

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Which County Officials are to be elected in 2022?

  • County Commissioner, District 2
  • County Commissioner, District 4
  • County Court Judge, Group 4
  • School Board Member, District 1
  • School Board Member, District 3
  • School Board Member, District 5

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Which Special Districts Officials are to be elected in 2022?

  • Pasco County Mosquito Control District, Seat 2
  • Lake Padgett Estates Independent Special District
  • Asturia Community Development District
  • Ballantrae Community Development District
  • Bexley Community Development District
  • Bridgewater of Wesley Chapel Community Development District
  • Chapel Creek Community Development District
  • Concord Station Community Development District
  • Connerton West Community Development District
  • Country Walk Community Development District
  • Cypress Preserve Community Development District
  • Dupree Lakes Community Development District
  • Epperson Ranch Community Development District
  • Estancia at Wiregrass Community Development District
  • Heritage Pines Community Development District
  • Heritage Springs Community Development District
  • Lake Bernadette Community Development District
  • LakeShore Ranch Community Development District
  • Lakeside Community Development District
  • Lexington Oaks Community Development District
  • Long Lake Ranch Community Development District
  • Longleaf Community Development District
  • Meadow Pointe Community Development District
  • Meadow Pointe II Community Development District
  • Meadow Pointe III Community Development District
  • Meadow Pointe IV Community Development District
  • Mirada Community Development District
  • New River Community Development District
  • Northwood Community Development District
  • Oak Creek Community Development District
  • Oakstead Community Development District
  • Preserve at Wilderness Lake Community Development District
  • Seven Oaks Community Development District
  • Silverado Community Development District
  • Suncoast Community Development District
  • Talavera Community Development District
  • Terra Bella Community Development District
  • The Groves Community Development District
  • The Verandahs Community Development District
  • TSR Community Development District
  • Union Park Community Development District
  • Union Park East Community Development District
  • WaterGrass I Community Development District
  • WaterGrass II Community Development District
  • Waters Edge Community Development District
  • Wiregrass Community Development District
  • Zephyr Lakes Community Development District
  • Zephyr Ridge Community Development District

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Election Dates:

Election Book Closing Date Date of Election
Municipal March 14, 2022 April 12, 2022
Primary July 25, 2022 August 23, 2022
General October 11, 2022 November 8, 2022

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