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Candidate Qualifying Basics

Important information for those individuals considering running for public office.

Official Location and Email Address for Filing Qualifying Documents:

1898 E. Burleigh Blvd
Tavares, FL 32778


Who is the Qualifying Officer?

The qualifying officer for all county candidates is the Supervisor of Elections.

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.

Please consult the appropriate qualifying officer for the office that you are considering. A qualifying officer is your best resource for candidate qualifying information. They can provide guidance 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.

Residency Requirements

  • 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 ).


352-343-9734 |


352-343-3605 |


Contact Us


1898 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL, 32778 | Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM


P/O. Box 457, Tavares, FL 32778

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