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Filing & Qualifying for Office


This section of our website provides you with the tools you need to run for office, based on the Florida Election Laws. If you have any problems accessing our information or have questions about the process you need to follow to become a candidate in Hillsborough County, please contact our Candidate Services Liaison at (813) 744-5900, ext. 4465.

To find the offices up for election, click here.



The 2019 City of Tampa Municipal Election will take place on March 5, 2019.


To become a candidate for elected office, you must file form DS-DE9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, before accepting any contributions or making any campaign expenditures. Within 10 days of filing form DS-DE9, you must file form DS-DE84, Statement of Candidate. 


Candidate qualifying begins at noon on January 14, 2019 and ends at noon on January 18, 2019. Qualifying packets can be found here.

 We can accept qualifying fees and forms in advance during the prequalifying period, which begins January 2, 2019. Those documents will be held by our office and processed at the start of the official qualifying period.

 Candidates can choose to qualify by fee or petition. For more information about qualifying, review the fact sheet.

  • Qualifying By Fee

     Candidates must pay 6% of the salary of the office as of July 1, 2018 to qualify by fee. These fees are due the week of qualifying.
    • Mayoral Candidates - $9,644.54
    • City Council Candidates - $2,774.30


  • Qualifying By Petition

    The petition collection period is from August 27, 2018 to January 4, 2019, and the Nominating Petition Application must be filed with our office prior to collecting petitions. Candidates for Mayor must collect the signatures of at least 1% of the City of Tampa population. Candidates for City Council must collect the signatures of at least 0.25% of the City of Tampa population. Petitions for City Council must come from within the district the candidate wishes to serve. See the required petition numbers below.
    • Mayoral Candidates - 3,592 petitions
    • City Council Candidates - 898 petitions

For additional information on running for office in the 2019 City of Tampa Election, please click here


Candidates who have filed form DS-DE9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository, are required to file regular financial reports, following the deadlines specified by the Florida Division of Elections:

Local candidates, please make sure to review the Online Financial Report Manual. All reports filed with our office must be submitted electronically. Our filing system allows you to enter information without using any additional software. However, you may  click here to see a list of approved software vendors  that are compatible with our electronic filing system. 


There are several helpful publications, developed by the State Division of Elections, to help guide you through your candidacy. As a candidate, it is your responsibility review the Candidate and Treasurer Handbook and Florida Election Code, which will help guide you through your candidacy.  


If you think someone is violating election law, you should file a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission.