Secretary of State Laurel Lee has set the qualifying dates for the special election in Congressional District 20 prompted by the death of Rep. Alcee Hastings.
Candidates have from 8:00 a.m. on August 9 until noon the following day to qualify.
It costs party-affiliated candidates $10,440 to qualify and no-party candidates $6,960 to qualify.
Candidates using the petition method to qualify need at least 1,168 signatures. Signatures must be submitted to the county clerk by 5 p.m. on August 3, 2021 to qualify for the special election. The supervisor of elections will then verify the signatures and certify the results to the Division of Elections by 5 pm, August 6, 2021.
So far 11 democrats have declared their candidacy including state Sen. Perry Thurston, Minority House Leader Bobby DuBose, Rep. Omari Hardy and Broward County Commissioner and former mayor Barbara Sharief. Florida’s resign-to-run law means candidates running for office must resign their current office in order to qualify to appear on the ballot.
Two Republicans have declared candidacy for the seat in a typically blue district.
Gov. Ron DeSantis in May announced the dates of the special election. The special primary election will take place on November 2 this year. The special election will take place January 11, 2022. At that time DeSantis said he thought the qualifying dates would be towards the end of the first week in September.
Hastings died April 6 at age 84 after decades in the U.S. House.
The last two special elections held in Florida to fill congressional seats were held no more than six months after they became vacant. With these dates, Hastings’ seat will be vacant for ten months.
The vacancy impact fairly slim margins in the US House. There are 211 Republicans and 219 Democrats with 5 vacancies. The only vacancy in Florida is Congressional District 20.