How much does it cost to run for office?
The qualifying fee is either 4% of the annual salary for non-partisan candidates or 6% of the annual salary for partisan candidates.
The filing fee is 3% of the annual salary of the office sought.
The election assessment is 1% of the annual salary.
The party assessment for partisan candidates is 2% of the annual salary.
The qualifying fee is based on the annual salary of the office sought as of July 1 the year preceding qualifying.
As an alternative to paying a qualifying fee, candidates may qualify by the petition process. The qualifying officer for candidates can offer assistance to those who wish to know more about the petition process. The qualifying officer for federal, state, multicounty district, circuit court judge, state attorney, public defender candidates is the Division of Elections. For county offices, including constitutional offices, board of county commission, school board and county court judge, or other district office, the qualifying officer is the supervisor of elections. For municipal office, the city clerk is the qualifying officer.
Using petitions instead of paying a qualifying fee
Candidates have an option to waive the qualifying fee by collecting petitions instead. Signatures may not be obtained, however, until the candidate has filed the DS/DE 9, Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, Designation of Campaign Depository.
The number of signatures required is based on the number of registered voters as of the immediately preceding general election’s book closing.
The petition form itself is prescribed by the Division of Elections and is available through the qualifying officer. The official petition format must be used.
The deadlines for submitting petitions to the Supervisor of Elections for verification is noon of the 28th day preceding the first day of the qualifying period for the office being sought.
Candidates should verify with the appropriate qualifying officer how many petition signatures are needed, as well as confirming the deadline for submitting the petitions.