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Home > Candidates / Committees > Run for Office (Qualifying)
  

Run for Office (Qualifying)

Please take a moment to look at the information below if you are interested in running for an elected county or district office in Walton County.  The information contained on this page and other literature is not all-inclusive and is provided as voluntary information to assist prospective candidates.  If you are running for office, it is your responsibility to become acquainted with relevant Florida election laws, rules, and local charters that might have a bearing on your campaign or qualifications to run for an office.

Use the following link for information about running for Federal, State, and Multi-county officesPlease contact the Municipal City Clerk if interested in running for a municipal office. Please contact the political party officials for details about running for party offices. (F.S. 103.091)

Helpful Links for Candidates

Dates & Deadlines

County, District, & Political Party Office Qualifying Week: 
June 20, 2016, noon - June 24, 2016, noon

County & District Office Petitions Due: 
May 23, 2016, noon 

County & District Office Deadline to Change Party (F.S. 99.021): 
June 21, 2015

Pre-Filing 

A person can announce his or her intentions on running for office, but only becomes an actual candidate when the proper forms are filed. 

A person may announce their candidacy at any time by pre-filing forms to run for office.  A person becomes a candidate when he or she does the following:

  • 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 (Section 106.21, F.S.);
  • File a Statement of Candidate (Form DS-DE 84within 10 days of filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Form DS-DE 9).  
    In addition, judicial candidates must also file a Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office (Form DS-DE 83) within 10 days of filing the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Form DS-DE 9)(Sections 105.031(5) and 106.023, F.S.)
     
  • Exceptions apply to Special District candidates.  See below for details.

Only the above forms may be pre-filed.  Form DS-DE 9 must be filed before a candidate can open a bank account, receive contributions, make expenditures, and gather petitions, if qualifying using the petition method described below. 

Qualifying

During Qualifying Week (see dates above), candidates must file the following forms, in addition to either paying the qualifying fee or having already gathered the required number of petitions and having them certified by the Supervisor of Elections. Exceptions apply to Special District candidates.  See below for details. Qualifying forms can be accepted and held by Supervisor of Elections beginning 14 days before Qualifying Week [F.S. 99.061(8)]. 

  • DS-DE 9 - Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Can be pre-filed.  See note below regarding Special District candidates.)
     
  • DS-DE 84 - Statement of Candidate (Can be pre-filed. This form must be filed within 10 days of filing form DS-DE 9, even if the 10 day deadline is after the end of qualifying week. Judicial candidates must file this form in addition to form DS-DE 83.) 
     
  • DS-DE 83 - Statement of Candidate for Judicial Office (This form is filed by judicial candidates ONLY! Can be pre-filed. This form must be filed within 10 days of filing form DS-DE 9, even if the 10 day deadline is after the end of qualifying week.) 
      
  • DS-DE 24, 24A, 24B, 24F, 25, 25A, 26, or 26A - Loyalty Oath (the form depends upon the office sought)
     
  • Form 6 or Form 1 - Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests (Form 1 for Special District candidates. Form 6 for all others. If candidates have already submitted that year's financial disclosure, they can just submit a copy of the submitted form.)

Qualifying by Filing Fee – The fee to qualify to run for office varies depending on the office and a number of other factors. If you choose to qualify by paying a qualifying fee instead of the petition method outlined below, the fees are:

  • Major party candidates will be 6% of the annual salary of the office sought.
  • Nonpartisan office and candidates with no party affiliation will be 4% of the annual salary of the office sought.
  • Minor party candidates will be 4% of the annual salary of the office sought, unless the minor party chooses to assess the party fee, in which case it will be 6%.
  • Special District candidates pay a flat assessment of $25. (This fee does NOT have to be drawn from a campaign account - see below)

The qualifying fees are broken down like this:

  • Filing Fee = 3% of the 2015 Salary
  • Election Assessment = 1% of the Salary
  • Party Assessment (Partisan Candidates only) = 2% of the Salary
  • Special Districts = $25.00 flat fee (does NOT have to be drawn from a campaign account - see below)

The 2% party assessment may only apply to candidates running with a party affiliation.  

A campaign check must be drawn on the campaign account payable to the Supervisor of Elections for the qualifying fee, except for the following exception:

Special District Candidates:

Special District candidates are NOT required to file Form DS-DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, or open a campaign account unless they collect contributions or make expenditures for anything other than the filing fee or petition signature verification fee (Section 99.061, F.S.).

Special District candidates who DO NOT wish to collect contributions or make expenditures need only to complete an affidavit stating their intention to run for a special district office and either pay the qualifying fee or have the required number of valid petitions certified by the Supervisor of Elections to qualify as a candidate.  

In the event that a Special District candidate later decides to collect contributions and/or make expenditures, they will be required to file Form DS-DE 9, will be subject to all provisions of Chapter 106 of the Florida Statutes, and must file periodic campaign finance reports.  

Write-In Candidate: A Write-in candidate must qualify during the official qualifying period. A Write-in candidate is not required to submit petitions or pay a qualifying fee. Candidate’s name will not be printed on the ballot; a blank space for voters to write in a candidate’s name will appear on the General Election ballot.

Qualifying by Petition Method - (Form DS-DE 104) Pursuant to 99.095, Florida Statutes, a person seeking to qualify for nomination to any office may qualify to have their name placed on the ballot by means of the petitioning process.  Candidates who have filed the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository (Form DS-DE 9) may obtain the required number of petitions to qualify for office.  Petition forms (Form DS-DE 104) must be properly completed and signed by 1% of the registered voters within the county or district as of the last General Election.  If a candidate is qualifying by petition method, all petitions must be received by the Supervisor of Elections before the deadline (see dates above). The Supervisor of Elections will check the petitions and certify that there is the required number of valid petitions and that the signatures match those on file. Petition signatures are verified by the Supervisor of Elections at a cost of 10 cents each. Below are the petition requirements for candidates in Walton County:

  • 418 valid petitions for county offices
  • 25 valid petitions for special districts 

If required, one’s current position or office must be resigned under the “resigned to run” law. See section 99.012, Florida Statutes for more information.  Also, the "Hatch Act" may apply to certain individuals. 

Any candidate seeking to qualify for nomination as a candidate of any political party shall, at the time of subscribing to the oath or affirmation, state in writing that they have not been a registered member of any other political party for 365 days before the beginning of qualifying preceding the general election for which the person seeks to qualify. Note: Effective upon becoming law May 2011, any candidate who has changed parties within 365 days of the beginning of qualifying will be ineligible to qualify as a political party candidate, but is eligible to qualify with no party affiliation. See section 99.021, Florida Statutes for more information.

Pursuant to 99.061(7), Florida Statutes, if the filing officer receives qualifying papers that do not include all items required, the filing officer shall make a reasonable effort to notify the candidate of the missing or incomplete items and shall inform the candidate that all required items must be received by the close of qualifying.

Offices to be Filled in 2016

Use the following link to browse through offices that are up for election.

County & Special District Office Salaries and Qualifying Fees

  • County Judge -
       Salary: $138,019.92
       Qualifying Fees: 3% ($4,140.60) + 1% ($1,380.20) = 4% ($5,520.80)

  • County Commissioner, Districts 1, 3, and 5 -
       Salary: $40,300.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($1,209.00) + 1% ($403.00) + 2% ($806.00) = 6% ($2,418.00)
  • Clerk of the Circuit Courts and County Comptroller - 
       Salary $105,956.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($3,178.68) + 1% ($1,059.56) + 2% ($2,119.12) = 6% ($6,357.36)

  • Tax Collector - 
       Salary $105,956.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($3,178.68) + 1% ($1,059.56) + 2% ($2,119.12) = 6% ($6,357.36)
  • Property Appraiser - 
       Salary $105,956.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($3,178.68) + 1% ($1,059.56) + 2% ($2,119.12) = 6% ($6,357.36)

  • Sheriff - 
       Salary $114,896.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($3,446.88) + 1% ($1,148.96) + 2% ($2,297.92) = 6% ($6,893.76)

 

  • School Board, Districts 1 and 4 - 
       Salary: $28,929.00
       Qualifying Fee: 3% ($867.87) + 1% ($289.29) = 4% ($1,157.16)
  • Argyle Fire Commissioner – [Qualifying Fee - $25]
  • Liberty Fire District – [Qualifying Fee - $25]
  • South Walton Fire District – [Qualifying Fee - $25]
  • Soil and Water Conservation District – [Qualifying Fee - $25]
  • South Walton Mosquito Control - [Qualifying Fee - $25]