Candidates scramble for signatures in last week to gather petitions

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Those seeking office in the state Legislature have four more days to submit their petitions to the Florida Division of Elections, reports Gray Rohrer of the Florida Current.

The last day to qualify for the ballot as a legislative candidate is June 8, but House and Senate candidates wishing to qualify via petitions must have them in by noon on Monday. If the petition route doesn’t work, candidates must pay a qualifying fee to make the ballot: $9,004.62 for party candidates and $6,003.08 for candisates with no party affiliation.

Candidates who waited until the last minute are pushing hard in the final week to meet the deadline.

“We hope to” meet the deadline, said Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres, who is running for reelection. “We’re working on it.”

Caldwell was unopposed until two weeks ago, and didn’t anticipate Jon Shudlick entering the race for the Republican nomination for House District 79. Caldwell’s  campaign sent an email to supporters this week looking for signatures.

It will be easier for candidates to make the deadline this year. Because the redistricting process led to uncertainty surrounding district boundaries – until last week when they were approved at the federal level – candidates can gather signatures from all across Florida, not just in their district.

The total petitions required to qualify for the ballot is fewer than in non-redistricting years, too.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.