Candidate FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can run for office?

Age and residency qualifications vary by position, but you must be a registered voter to run.


Q: What do I have to do to run for office?

The first step is to file for office by submitting paperwork that officially declares your candidacy. This can be done at any time, but must be done before you start campaigning. After filing, you are required to submit regular financial reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures.

Qualifying takes place during a scheduled time period and is the process by which you assure your name will be on the ballot. That’s when additional paperwork, along with any required fees or petitions, will be due.


Q: Does it cost money to be a candidate?

Not necessarily. You have to pay a qualifying fee or collect petitions to have your name placed on a ballot. The qualifying fee is waived if you submit enough petitions.


Q: How are the qualifying fees set?

Fees are based on a percentage of the salary of the office you’re seeking, and whether you are running with a political party affiliation.


Q: Which offices are partisan and which are nonpartisan?

School board, judicial and municipal offices are nonpartisan. All other elected offices in Hillsborough County are partisan. In accordance with Florida law, you must be a registered member of the political party for which you are seeking nomination for 365 days before the beginning of qualifying. You may also run for any office without party affiliation. Any person seeking to qualify for office as a candidate with no party affiliation must not have been a registered member of any political party for 365 days before the beginning of the candidate qualifying period. (F.S. 99.021)


Q: Will the Supervisor of Elections Office help me fill out the required forms?

We’ll give you forms and official candidate guidelines provided by the state. However, we are by law a ministerial agency, which means we cannot advise you on your paperwork.


For more information or if you have a question that is not listed here, contact us at: or call (813) 744-5900, ext. 4465

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Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Main Phone: (813) 744-5900 Toll Free: (888) 297-4362 Email:

Fred B. Karl County Center

601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: (813) 272-5850
Fax: (813) 272-7043

Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center

2514 North Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619
Tel: (813) 744-5900
Fax: (813) 744-5843

Northwest Regional Office

4575 Gunn Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33624

Southeast Regional Office

10020 South U.S. Hwy. 301
Riverview, FL 33578

Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Voter registration applications and other written communications to or from the Supervisor of Elections are public records and are available to the public and media upon request unless the information is subject to a specific statutory exemption. Email addresses are also public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, please do not email us. Instead, contact us by mail or phone, or visit us in person. To request public records, visit this page.. For questions about public records, email or call (813) 744-5900.