Nearly 300 congressional and legislative candidates have gathered enough valid petition signatures to appear on this fall’s ballot, according to information on the state Division of Elections website via the News Service of Florida.
About 190 of the candidates are in state House races, while 67 are in congressional races and 36 are in state Senate races. They include 12 incumbent members of Congress and such state lawmakers as incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, and incoming House Minority Leader Perry Thurston. Candidates can collect petition signatures or pay a fee to get on the ballot. Formal qualifying for this year’s elections will start today and end Friday.
Not all of the petition-gathering candidates likely will wind up running. For example, Sen. Ronda Storms collected enough valid petition signatures to seek re-election but announced last week she would instead run for Hillsborough County property appraiser.