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The City of Punta Gorda’s Candidate Packet,  which is designed to supplement the Candidate & Campaign Treasurer Handbook produced by the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections, is now available upon request from the City Clerk's Office.  Please find below an overview of the information contained within the Candidate Packet. Links to all of the forms and publications included in the Candidate Packet are provided at the end of this page.

 

BECOMING A CANDIDATE

Candidates must be, at all times, qualified electors of the City, must have been a full-time resident for at least six months in the district he/she wishes to represent prior to qualifying and may not hold any other elective office.

To Become a Filed Candidate

File Form DS-DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates (F.S. 106.021(1)(a) and F.S. 106.021 (1)(b)). A candidate can appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a campaign depository at any time, but no later than the date the candidate qualifies for office, and before any contributions are received, any expenditures are made, and any signatures are obtained on a candidate petition.  Nothing prohibits a person from announcing their intention to become a candidate prior to filing Form DS-DE 9, as long as no contributions are received, no expenditures are made and no signatures are obtained on a candidate petition.

Form DS-DE 9:

  • Shall be filed with the filing officer prior to opening the campaign account.
  • Is not effective until the campaign treasurer signs it and it is filed with the filing officer.
  • Is considered “filed” only when the filing officer receives the form, not upon mailing.
  • Shall be on file with the filing officer prior to the candidate accepting any contributions or making any expenditures, or authorizing another to accept contributions or make expenditures on the person’s behalf.
  • Shall be on file with the filing officer prior to obtaining signatures on a Petition.

The filing officer for the City of Punta Gorda is the City Clerk.

NOTE:  Filed candidates must submit a final Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summary within 90 days of withdrawing candidacy, becoming unopposed, being elected, or being eliminated as a candidate.

To Qualify as a Candidate

To become a qualified candidate, you must be a "filed candidate" and complete the following:

  1. File Form DS-DE 84, Statement of Candidate, within ten days of filing Form DS-DE 9 (F.S. 106.023).  By filing this form the candidate acknowledges they have been provided access to read and understand the requirements of Chapter 106, F.S., a copy of which is included in the Candidate Packet and linked to at the end of this page.
  2. Submit CE Form 1, Statement of Financial Interests (F.S. 99.061(4) & 112.3145(2)(a)).
  3. Subscribe to a candidate's oath in writing by filing Form DS-DE 302NP, Candidate Oath - Nonpartisan Office (F.S. 99.021(1)(a)).
  4. Pay an election assessment fee equal to 1% of the salary of the office being sought (must be paid prior to the end of the qualifying period) (F.S. 99.093 (1)).
  5. During the qualifying period obtain the signatures on the prescribed petition form of at least 25, but not more than 50, registered voters who reside within the district for which election is sought (City Charter).  An interactive City Council District Map is available to assist in determining voters' districts.  NOTE: The petition form must be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office.

CHANGES TO QUALIFYING RELATED TO THE CORONAVIRUS

 

NOTE: Due to the Coronavirus emergency, the Division of Elections has implemented a new Florida Administrative Code Rule with respect to the candidate qualifying process, as follows:

Emergency Rule 1SER20-1; Removes the requirement that qualifying records be “originals(s) and signatures thereon…be made in ink” so that these items can be collected, notarized and submitted with limited person-to-person contact, and provides for qualifying documents to be submitted via email.

The full text of 1SER20-1 is provided on the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register's website and can be viewed by clicking on “View Notice”.

MUNICIPAL ELECTION ASSESSMENT

In accordance with Florida Statute 99.093 Municipal candidates; election assessment. - each person seeking to qualify for nomination or election to a municipal office shall pay, at the time of qualifying for office, an election assessment.  The election assessment shall be an amount equal to 1% of the annual salary of the office sought. 

Please note that the annual salary for the office of councilmember includes salary and a regular monthly expense allowance that is payable whether or not expenses or costs are actually incurred. 

                         Annual Salary                        $ 13,924.80
                        Auto Allowance                    $      900.00
                        Total                                       $ 14,824.80

                        1.0% of $14,824.80         =      $      148.25

Your assessment check should be made payable to "The City of Punta Gorda". 

NOTE:  The check for said assessment fee MUST be drawn from your campaign account.  Campaign checks must contain the following information:  the name of the campaign account of the candidate, account number and name of bank, the exact amount of the expenditure, the signature of the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer, the exact purpose of the expenditure and the name of the payee. (Section 106.11(1)(b), F.S.)

 

CAMPAIGN SIGNAGE 

The political process by which candidates for public office are promoted by their supporters through campaign signage is supported by the City of Punta Gorda.  Political or campaign signs on behalf of candidates for public office, or measures on election ballots, are permitted within the city limits of Punta Gorda subject to the following local municipal regulations:

  1. Signs may be erected not earlier than forty-five (45) days prior to said election and shall be removed within five (5) days following said election, unless the candidate progresses from a Primary to the General Election, in which case the sign(s) may remain in place until five (5) days after the General Election.

    If there are more than 45 days between a Primary and a General Election, then political signs for candidates or issues that will be on the General Election ballot and are opposed by a candidate in a Primary may be erected in accordance with City Code Section 26.11.3(k) the day after the Primary.

  2. In any zoning district, only one stationary sign per candidate is permitted on any one parcel of land. Such signs shall be located on private property, with the permission of the owner. Said sign shall not exceed 32 square feet in area per side and 6 feet in height except where the sign is erected in place of another type of sign permitted at that location, then it shall be the same size and subject to the same conditions as such sign.

  3. No sign shall be located within or over the public right-of-way, public water canals or other public property or on any utility pole or tree.

Questions regarding the placement of signs should be directed to the Zoning Division at (941) 575-3314.  Please review FS 106.143 and 106.1435, provided in the Florida Election Code, to familiarize yourself with political advertisement requirements.

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTING INFORMATION

Filing Campaign Treasurer's Reports

Section 106.07(1), F.S. – Each campaign treasurer designated by a candidate shall file regular reports on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time the Campaign Treasurer is appointed.  Links to fill-in forms for the mostly commonly filed reports are below:

DS-DE 12, Campaign Treasurer’s Report Summary 

DS-DE 13, Campaign Treasurer’s Report – Itemized Contributions 

DS-DE 14, Campaign Treasurer’s Report – Itemized Expenditures

Section 106.07(1)(b), F.S. – Each candidate or political committee who is required to file reports with a county or municipal filing officer must file reports on the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and biweekly on each Friday thereafter through and including the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with additional reports due on the 25th and 11th days before the primary election and general election.

Section 106.07(7), F.S. – In any reporting period when there has been no activity in the account (no funds expended or received) the filing of the required report may be waived by notifying the filing officer in writing using Form DS-DE 87, by the due date prescribed, that no report is being filed.  The next report filed must specify that it covers the entire period between the last submitted report and the report being filed.

Campaign Finance Report Schedule

 M = Monthly  –  P = Primary  –  G = General  –  TR = Termination

Due Date

Report Code

Period Covered

04/10/2020

2020 M3

03/01/2020 – 03/31/2020

05/11/2020

2020 M4

04/01/2020 – 04/30/2020

06/10/2020

2020 M5

05/01/2020 – 05/31/2020

06/19/2020

2020 P1

06/01/2020 – 06/12/2020

07/03/2020

2020 P2

06/13/2020 – 06/26/2020

07/17/2020

2020 P3

06/27/2020 – 07/10/2020

07/24/2020

2020 P4

07/11/2020 – 07/17/2020

07/31/2020

2020 P5

07/18/2020 – 07/24/2020

08/07/2020

2020 P6

07/25/2020 – 07/31/2020

08/14/2020

2020 P7

08/01/2020 – 08/13/2020

08/28/2020

2020 G1

08/14/2020 – 08/21/2020

09/11/2020

2020 G2

08/22/2020 – 09/04/2020

09/25/2020

2020 G3

09/05/2020 – 09/18/2020

10/09/2020

2020 G4

09/19/2020 – 10/02/2020

10/23/2020

2020 G5

10/03/2020 – 10/16/2020

10/30/2020

2020 G6

10/17/2020 – 10/29/2020

 

Deadline for Filing

Section 106.07(2)(a)1. F.S. – Reports shall be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day designated; however, any report postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than midnight of the day designated shall be deemed to have been filed in a timely manner.

Penalty for Late Filing

Sections 106.07(8)(a) and 106.07(8)(b) F.S. – a reporting individual who fails to file a report on the designated due date is subject to a fine, and such fine shall be paid only from personal funds of the reporting individual.  The fine shall be $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25% of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report.

Last Day to Accept Contributions

Any contribution received by a candidate with opposition in an election or by the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer of such a candidate on the day of that election or less than five days before the day of that election must be returned by them to the person or committee contributing it and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate (Section 106.08(3)(a)).

Last day before Primary Municipal Election:    Thursday, August 13, 2020 at midnight

Last day before General Municipal Election:    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at midnight

90-Day Termination Reports

Section 106.141, F.S. – Each candidate who withdraws his or her candidacy, becomes an unopposed candidate, or is eliminated as a candidate or elected to office shall, within 90 days, dispose of the funds on deposit in his/her campaign account and file a report reflecting the disposition of all remaining funds. 

Due Date

Report Code

Period Covered

September 10, 2020

TR

After June Qualifying

November 16, 2020

TR

Primary Election

February 1, 2021

TR

General Election

 

Filing Officer

All campaign finance reports for candidates for the City of Punta Gorda shall be filed with the City Clerk, City Hall, 326 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda, Florida, 33950.  Questions should be directed to the City Clerk at pgclerk@CityofPuntaGordaFL.com or 575-3305.

Online Campaign Treasurer's Report

Campaign Treasurer’s Reports can be partially prepared online by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Florida Division of Election's Forms page.
  2. Click on desired form(s) and type in information.
  3. Print the form once all information has been entered.
  4. Execute where necessary and submit original executed form(s) to the Filing Officer.

 

OBTAINING REGISTERED VOTER INFORMATION

Filed candidates can request a list of registered voters by submitting a completed “Voter List Data Request Form” to the Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections.

Qualified candidates can request information related to vote-by-mail ballot requests by submitting a completed “Vote By Mail Request Form” to the Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections.

 

POLL WATCHERS

The Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections provides information on designating poll watchers.

 

POLLING PLACE RULES

Section 102.031, F.S., outlines polling place rules.

 

CANDIDATE FORMS AND INFORMATION

 

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