Rep. Meek addressing FAMU students (famu.edu)
(3/29/10) MIAMI, FL – Miami Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) will be filing over 145,000 signatures on petitions Monday to get his name on the November ballot for the U.S. Senate race from Florida, and will become the first state-wide candidate to do so in Florida’s history.
While most candidates for state-wide office pay the $10,000 filing fee, Meek chose to use Florida’s alternative method – turning in petitions signed by at least 1% of all registered voters in each county. While the total number Meek needed was 112,476 from Florida’s 67 counties, by the time his campaign staff members file the petitions in each county, there will be in excess of 145,000 signatures, according to the Meek campaign, including more than 10,000 Republicans. If the petitions are all accepted, Meek will be the first candidate in Florida to have qualified for the ballot using petitions. The campaign is prepared to pay the filing fee if needed, however.
Part of the reason for obtaining nearly 30,000 extra signatures is to account for those signatures that are either challenged or not properly verified, to ensure that the minimum requirements are met.
The primary reason, according to Meek himself, was to get to know the people of Florida. Although Meek is the primary senate candidate from the Democratic Party, he is still a relative unknown in large segments of the state. No one can accuse Meek of not trying to get himself out there, however. Although he is quite well known here in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, he has been heavily campaigning along the I-4 corridor, the I-10 corridor and even the I-75 corridor, leaving nearly no major area of the state untouched.
Despite his efforts, however, Meek continues to trail both Republican candidates in the polls.
His has delicately balanced his campaigning across the state with his congressional duties in Washington, D.C., returning to vote on significant bills and tweeting and facebooking about it. After returning from the Capitol on Monday, Meek and his wife will finally sign the petition themselves before turning them in to the Miami-Dade Elections Department.
For more information:
Kendrick Meek for US Senate
Meek turns in petitions to get on Florida ballot
Meek files petitions to get on ballot
Meek looks to make history with petition drive
Kendrick Meek ballot qualification: ‘Our petition drive is all about hard work’