BROOKSVILLE — Ten candidates for the 2014 election have already satisfied the petition requirement to get on the ballot.
Candidates may either pay a qualifying fee or choose to run by the petition method. By choosing the latter, they must obtain at least 1 percent of the total number of registered voters in their district for the last preceding general election. That comes to 1,234 signatures.
Candidates have until noon May 19 to turn in petitions.
“I am not surprised that this many local candidates have gotten their petitions signed before the deadline,” Elections Supervisor Shirley Anderson said. “Most candidates want to get this done so they can focus on listening and talking to voters.”
Candidates, she said, save money by not paying the qualifying fee, which varies depending on the sought-after office.
Anderson said the petition route also gives voters and candidates an opportunity to meet face to face.
“Some candidates opt to pay the filing fee, and focus solely on talking to voters rather than asking them to sign a card,” she said.
Those who have met the petition requirements and are running for county commission are: Wayne Dukes, Jeff Holcomb, Jimmy Lodato, Dan Oliver and Laurie Pizzo.
School board members include Beth Narverud and Mark Johnson.
Kurt Hitzemann, running for county judge, and state candidates Rose Rocco and Wilton Simpson also obtained the required signatures.
If county commissioners running as Democrat or Republican, want to forego the petition method, they must shell out $3,754.74, which represents 6 percent of the job’s $62,579 annual salary.
If a candidate chooses to run as an independent or opts for no party affiliation, the fee is $2,503.16, or 4 percent of the annual salary.
As of today, all the partisan party candidates have qualified through petitions. Non-partisan candidates Robert Anzalone, running on the non-party affiliation ticket and Charles McBrearty, a Libertarian Party candidate, have yet to qualify.
Candidates must also live in the county commission district when they are elected to office. Florida Statutes interprets “elected” to mean the day the county canvassing board certifies the election results.
Running for a seat on the Brooksville City Council is a bargain compared to county commission.
A $216 qualifying fee is needed, which represents 4 percent of board members’ annual salary of $5,400.
Brooksville city council candidates do not have the option of collecting signatures to get on the ballot. It’s pay up or don’t run.
Candidates must have continuously lived in the City of Brooksville for at least one year immediately prior to qualifying.
To get on the ballot for school board, candidates must pay $1,327.64, or 4 percent of the annual salary of the $33,191-per-year position.
Like county commissioners, they have the option of paying the fee or producing 1,231 valid signatures.
School board candidates must reside in the school board district at the time of qualifying.