What is a candidate?
As defined in 97.021(3), Florida Statutes, a candidate is any person who:
Receives contributions or makes expenditures or gives their consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures with a view to bringing about their nomination or election to, or retention in, public office;
However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political executive committee.
When should I announce my candidacy?
Once you have announced your candidacy, you must:
File an Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository Form (DS-DE 9) with the Supervisor of Elections office Before you collect any money toward your candidacy, spend any money in furtherance of your candidacy, collect signatures to qualify by the petition process, or open a bank account (106.021, F.S.);
Once I become a candidate, is it possible to change and run for a different office?
Yes, under 106.021(1)(a), F.S., you may change your mind and run for a different office after becoming a candidate, providing you do the following:
Within 15 days of the new appointment, notify, in writing, all contributors and offer to return their contributions in full or pro rata. The Request for Return of Contributions Form (DS-DE 86) may be used for this purpose;
If, after 30 days from this notice, the contributor has not requested the return of their contribution, you may use these funds for the newly designated office campaign.