More than a dozen Tampa candidates file petitions to qualify for ballot
TAMPA – Candidates have until the end of next week to pay the qualifying fee that will get them on the ballot for Tampa’s city elections, but more than a dozen already have filed to qualify by petition.
In the race for mayor, former Hillsborough County commissioners Rose Ferlita and Ed Turanchik, plus Tampa City Council member Thomas Scott, qualified by petition.
In City Council races, candidates who filed petitions to qualify are Mary Mulhern and Scott Strepina in citywide District 2; Michael Ciftci and Jason Wilson in citywide District 3; Joseph Citro, Tony DeSisto and Julie Ann Jenkins in South Tampa’s District 4; Lynette “Tracee” Judge, Herold Lord and Frank Reddick in East Tampa’s District 5; Kelly Benjamin in West Tampa's District 6; and Charlie Perkins in North Tampa’s District 7.
The deadline for filing petitions to get on the ballot was noon on New Year’s Eve.
“We literally had people running for office who were there a minute before noon,” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections spokesman Travis Abercrombie said.
Candidates who did not gather petitions signed by registered voters can pay a qualifying fee to get on the ballot. The fee is 6 percent of the annual salary for the job. That's $9,000 in the mayor’s race or about $2,475 in City Council races. City elections will take place March 1, and early voting starts Feb. 19. Any necessary runoffs will be on March 22.