It is official: the qualifying period for those individuals seeking election has ended as of 12 noon on Friday, June 8th. For the Broward County School Board District 4 race, I have 5 opponents. So let me start by wishing all the candidates in all the races that have qualified the best of luck in their campaigns. I applaud any person who is willing to put him or herself out there and serve our community. There are going to be a lot of opinions that we will hear over the next few months about candidates and their qualifications, but one fact that I want voters to consider is how a candidate qualified.
There are two ways to qualify as a candidate. The first is to write a check to the Supervisor of Elections. For the District 4 Race, that amounts to $1,560 — 4% of the salary associated with a board position. Or, candidates can seek to qualify by petition, which is collecting 1569 verifiable signatures — 1% of the registered voters in District 4.
What sets me apart from the other candidates is the fact that I am the only one who qualified by petition.
Gathering more than 1,569 petitions is an arduous task. It involves asking for personal information like, date of birth, and taking the time to explaining to voters what they are signing and why.
At the beginning of our campaign, our goal was to qualify by petition. To be candid, it was challenging, but it was also simply a logical approach. Being out in front of voters getting to hear their concerns and ideas and getting them to hear where I stood on the issues, in the process of asking for help to get on the ballot, was just common sense.
I had an opportunity to meet teachers, principals, parents, grandparents, and community stakeholders. The oldest registered voter I met was 98 and the youngest, 18. A large percentage of voters did not even know how a candidate gets on the ballot and were even more surprised that there was a fee.
Campaign financing is a crucial. How a candidate chooses to budget their funds is purely their choice. However, at a time when we are looking a budget cuts and funding sources one thing you might say about a candidate qualifying by petition versus paying the fee is it demonstrates some fiscal responsibility.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the 2000 voters who signed my petition. Our work is now just beginning, but I trust that through your support on August 14th we will be successful.