Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Friday that his campaign had gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot.
“I’ve had the privilege of working in the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for over 25 years, and there have been few things as humbling during that time as having your neighbors lend their signature to help put your name on the ballot,” Chronister said.
“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the strong grassroots network of volunteers and community leaders that we’ve assembled in just a short period of time. It is also a reflection of the deep respect voters throughout Hillsborough County have for our brave deputies who serve this community with dedication and professionalism each and every day.
“I’m incredibly thankful to all those who helped us reach our goal, and I’m excited to continue campaigning across every community in Hillsborough County.”
The qualifying period for all Hillsborough County candidates, except judges, runs from June 18 through June 22. Candidates have the option of collecting signatures or paying a fee based on a percentage of the salary paid for the office they are seeking.
Chronister, a Republican, has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1992 and was a colonel before the retirement of longtime Sheriff David Gee in 2017, which landed him the job as interim sheriff.
He filed for election a day after he was sworn in.
Chronister currently faces Democrat Gary Allen Pruitt and no-party candidate Juan Rivera in his bid for a full term as sheriff.
Through the end of February, he had amassed $591,188 for his campaign and had nearly $535,000 of that sum on hand.
Pruitt, a retired Tampa Police Department corporal, raised nothing last month and showed only a single self-contribution of $200 since filing in November. He has about $25 in his campaign account.
Rivera, a retired CIA officer, added no money in February, but has raised $722 since filing and had $120 on hand.