Published: Apr 08, 2010 10:25 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  - Democrat Kendrick Meek is the first U.S. Senate candidate in state history to qualify for the ballot by petition.

Meek, a congressman from Miami, reached his goal Thursday after supervisors of elections certified 115,557 petitions. He needed 112,476 to qualify.

Candidates have the option of writing a check for about $10,000 to get on the ballot. He had at least one petition from all 67 counties. Democrat Maurice Ferre and Republicans Marco Rubio and Gov. Charlie Crist are also running for Senate.