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Candidate information is available online, including Announced and Qualified Candidates, current Elected Officials and Campaign Finance Statements. Candidate statements for county candidates will be posted before every election. Political Parties may also provide candidate information. Qualifying forms and financial reports for county candidates may be viewed in the Candidate Contributions and Expenditures section of this Web site.
Generally, you must be a registered voter in Pinellas County and live in the county or district for which you are running at the time of election. Other conditions may apply for certain offices, such as length of political party affiliation for partisan offices or residency requirements.
For most public offices in Pinellas County, a potential candidate must file the following forms:
- Form DS-DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository - must be filed before accepting any contributions or making any campaign expenditures
- Form DS-DE 84, Statement of Candidate - must be filed within 10 days of filing a Form DS-DE 9.
- For judicial candidates - Form DS-DE 83 - Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office
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In addition to these two forms, during the candidate qualifying period for the office sought, a candidate must file the following forms:
- Candidate Oath (forms vary according to type of office)
- Disclosure of Financial Interest - CE Form 6, Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests OR a CE Form 1, Statement of Financial Interests (special district candidates only)
- A check drawn on the campaign account to pay the qualifying fee, unless the candidate is running for a special district office and opted not to have a campaign account OR
- A Certificate of Signature Verification, if qualifying by petition.
Write-in candidates are not required to pay the qualifying fee or collect petition signatures.
A candidate may not qualify for any other public office in the state, the term of which office or any part thereof runs concurrently with that of the office he/she seeks.
A candidate must also resign from any office required by F.S. 99.012(3) (See next section.)See the Qualifying by Candidate Petitions page on this Web site for more information on qualifying by petition.
What is the "Resign-to-Run" Law, and how does it work?
See the Frequently Asked Questions -"Resign-to-Run" page on this Web site.
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A candidate will automatically assume office if there are no opposing candidates in the race. A candidate may also be appointed to fill an unexpected vacancy in office without an election.
For county offices, the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Candidate Handbook is available online or upon request in hard copy from any Elections Office. You can call our Candidate Qualifying division at (727) 464-6641. The Florida Division of Elections also has a Candidate and Campaign Treasurer Handbook available online for state and federal candidates. Contact your municipal clerk for information about running for a municipal office.
There are three types of political organizations in Florida: committees of continuous existence (CCEs), political committees (PCs) and electioneering communication organizations (ECOs). A political committee is a combination of two or more individuals, or a person that spends or receives more than $500 during a calendar year to support or oppose any candidate, issue, political committee, committee of continuous existence or political party. A PC may make independent expenditures.
There are three types of political organizations in Florida: committees of continuous existence (CCEs), political committees (PCs) and electioneering communication organizations (ECOs). A committee of continuous existence is a group, organization, association or other entity that is involved in making contributions to candidates, political committees or political parties. At least 25% of the CCE's income, excluding interest, must come from dues or assessments payable on a regular basis by its membership.
A CCE may contribute to candidates, political committees, other CCEs, ECOs or political parties. Contributions to candidates must be made through the candidate's campaign treasurer. A CCE may contribute to a political committee supporting or opposing an issue if such contributions do no exceed 25% of its annual income as reported for the previous year. A CCE may not make independent expenditures or electioneering communications. And, a CCE may not support or oppose issues without first registering as a political committee.
There are three types of political organizations in Florida: committees of continuous existence (CCEs), political committees (PCs) and electioneering communication organizations (ECOs). An electioneering communication organization is an organization whose election-related activities are limited to making expenditures or accepting contributions for the purpose of electioneering communications and whose activities would not otherwise require the group to register as a political party, political committee, or committee of continuous existence.
An electioneering communication is any communication that is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system, satellite system, newspaper, magazine, direct mail, or telephone and that 1) refers to or depicts a clearly identified candidate for office without expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate but that is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate; 2) is made within 30 days before a primary or special primary election or 60 days before any other election for the office sought by the candidate; and 3) is targeted to the relevant electorate in the geographic area the candidate would represent if elected.
Florida Statutes 106.011(18)&(19)
Florida Statutes Chapter 106 of the Election Laws includes the definitions, limitations, requirements and other information about all three types of political organizations in Florida. The Florida Division of Elections also has a Committee and Campaign Treasurer Handbook available online.