TAMPA – Former Hillsborough County Commissioner and pharmacist
Rose Ferlita Tuesday became the first candidate for mayor to turn in the required number of signed petitions to place her name on the ballot for the March 1 city elections.
Ferlita needed to turn in 3,905 petitions to qualify. She turned in 3,991.
“We worked hard to try to get ours in there first,” Ferlita told Bay Buzz. She said gathering signatures is a good workout for her campaign volunteers, some who have been with her since 1999, when she squeaked by incumbent
Scott Paine to win a seat on the Tampa City Council. It also engages voters, plus it’s smarter than paying the qualifying fee, she said. “And it kind of tells me that we’re ready,” she said. “We’ve got an army on the ground, and it’s going to be key to winning this race.”
Tampa City Council chairman
Thomas Scott also has submitted some petitions toward qualifying in the mayor’s race, but not the required number, said Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Office spokesman
Candidates also can pay a qualifying fee to make the ballot. The fee is 6 percent of the annual salary for the position, or $9,000 in the mayor’s race or about $2,475 in City Council races.
While Ferlita was the first to turn in the petitions needed to qualify in the mayor’s race, she wasn’t the first candidate in any city race. That was
Frank Reddick, who is running for the City Council District 5 race.
Qualifying for the city’s spring elections takes place from Jan. 10 through noon on Jan. 14.