STEPS TO BECOME A CANDIDATE
The materials on this page should answer many of the questions you may have about filing/qualifying for office, but it is not comprehensive. It is your responsibility, as a candidate, to follow all relevant Florida election laws and local charters that might have a bearing on your filing or your qualifications to run for office. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact our Candidate Services department at 352-620-3290 or Candidates@VoteMarion.Gov.
The information on this page applies to candidates for county office, who qualify with our office. Candidates for federal, state or multi-county offices should contact the Florida Division of Elections.
STEP 1 - File Your Intent:
File with the Election Center the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, form DS-DE 9.
This form MUST be filed prior to opening the campaign depository, accepting contributions, making expenditures, or circulating petition forms. Filing your intent for candidacy is not complete until filing forms are accepted and date/time stamped by the Marion County Election Center.
Special District candidates are not required to file DS-DE 9 or open a campaign account unless you collect contributions or make expenditures for anything other than the filing fee or petition verification fee. (F.S. 99.061)
STEP 2 - File Statement of Candidate:
Within 10 days after filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, you MUST file a Statement of Candidate, form DS-DE 84, indicating that you have been provided access to, read, and understand the requirements of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.
Judicial Candidates MUST also file a Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office: DS-DE 83.
STEP 3 - Choose Your Qualifying Method:
Petition Process • (F.S. 99.095 , Rule 1S-2.045)
A person who seeks to qualify as a candidate for any office (excluding Municipal candidates) and who meets the petition requirements is not required to pay the qualifying fee, party assessment or election assessment.
Information about petition requirements and verification fees will be available at a later date.
Petitions, form DS‐DE 104, may be gathered and submitted to the Election Center any time after filing form DS‐DE 9.
For petition guidelines, refer to the Candidate Petition Handbook provided by the Florida Division of Elections and Rule 1S‐2.045.
Pay Qualifying Fee • (F.S. 99.092)
Information on qualifying fees will be available at a later date.
The qualifying fee must be paid with a check drawn on the campaign account and signed by the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer.
In lieu of the petition method a Special District candidate may pay a $25.00 qualifying fee during the official qualifying period.
Write-In Candidate • (F.S. 99.061)
A Write‐In Candidate:
- Is not required to pay a filing fee, election assessment fee, or party assessment fee.
- Is not required to submit nominating petitions.
- Is not entitled to have his or her name printed on the ballot.
STEP 4 - Qualify During the Official Qualifying Period:
All candidates are required to qualify during the official qualifying period.
If the candidate is running for a county office, special district office, or party executive committee, the qualifying officer is:
The Honorable Wesley Wilcox, Supervisor of Elections
Marion County Election Center.
981 NE 16th Street
Ocala, FL 34470
If the Candidate is running for a municipal office, the qualifying officer is the Clerk of that municipality.