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 for a local municipal office, the following forms must be submitted to the Filing Officer: The Filing Officer for the City of Punta Gorda is the City Clerk.
- Form DS-DE 9, provides for an appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository. This form must be filed before opening a campaign account. No contributions are to be received and no expenditures are to be made before filing. (106.021(1) F.S.)
- Form DS-DE 84 Statement of Candidate, acknowledges the individual has been provided access to read and understand the requirements of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes (election laws related to campaign finance) and must be filed within ten days of filing the DS-DE 9 (106.023 F.S.)
To become a qualified candidate, you must be a "filed candidate" and complete the following:
- File Form DS-DE 25, Candidate Oath - Nonpartisan Office (99.021 F.S.)
- File Form 1 - Financial Disclosure (99.061(4) & 112.3145, F.S)
- Pay an election assessment equal to 1% of the annual salary of the office being sought (must be paid prior to the end of the qualifying period) (99.093(1) F.S.).
- 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).
All qualified candidates must meet specific legal requirements regarding campaign advertising and campaign financing. For more information on campaign signage, see the Memo to Candidates Regarding Political or Campaign Signage.
Periodic campaign finance reports must be filed with the Filing Officer as outlined in Chapter 106.07, Florida Statutes. Candidates should pay close attention to the dates that Treasurer's Reports (Forms DS-DE 12, DS-DE 13 and DS-DE 14) are due and be sure to turn them in on time. For more information and due dates, please see the Memo to Campaign Treasurers.
A full understanding of the election process is the responsibility of the candidate. The information contained herein is just a brief overview. Candidates should become familiar with the Florida Election Code, City Charter and City ordinances.
Candidate Forms and Information
Candidate forms are available from the City Clerk's Office and can be found online via the links provided below (except the Candidate Petition required by City Charter which is only available from the City Clerk/Filing Officer). All qualifying and reporting forms must be printed for submission to the Filing Officer.
- Form DS-DE 9 Appointment of Campaign Treasurer & Designation of Campaign Depository
- Form DS-DE 84 Statement of Candidate
- Form 1 - Financial Disclosure
- Form DS-DE 25 - Candidate Oath
- Memo to Candidates Regarding Required Municipal Election Assessment
- Election Laws of the State of Florida including Chapter 106 (Campaign Financing) and Chapter 99 (Candidate, Campaign Expenses, and Contesting Elections)
- Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, Candidate and Campaign Treasurers Handbook
- Memo to Campaign Treasurers
- Campaign Treasurer's Report Summary (Section 106.07, F.S.)
- Campaign Treasurer's Report – Itemized Contributions (Section 106.07, F.S.)
- Campaign Treasurer's Report – Itemized Expenditures (Section 106.07, F.S.)
- Waiver of Report Form #DS-DE 87 (Section 106.07, F.S.)
- Request for Return of Contributions Form #DS-DE 86 (Section 106.07, F.S.)
- Memo to Candidates Regarding Political or Campaign Signage
- City Charter