Eight D.C. Council candidates met Wednesday’s deadline to attempt to qualify for the citywide at-large race in April, including former council member Michael A. Brown and interim member Anita Bonds.

Though 20 candidates had initially expressed interest in competing in the special election, they had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit 3,000 signatures from registered voters to the D.C. Board of Elections.

Last week, Republican Patrick Mara and Democrat Paul Zukerberg became the first candidates to submit their petitions.

Bonds, Brown and fellow Democrats Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman and John Settles submitted their petitions this week. Perry Redd, a Statehood Green Party candidate, also filed his petitions.

Over the next month, elections officials will verify that each candidate met the 3,000-signature threshold. Other candidates and activists will also have 10 days to formally challenge an opposing candidate’s signatures.

Barring lawsuits, the ballot should be set by late February.

If all the candidates survive the challenge period — which is far from certain — the race will feature six Democrats, one Republican and a Statehood Green Party candidate.

Bonds, the head of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, is the incumbent in the race. Last month, the state committee selected her to fill the seat pending the special election.

Brown is seeking a comeback after he served one term on the council but was defeated in the November election by council member David A. Grosso (I-At Large). Brown had been an independent but switched his party affiliation to Democrat to compete in the special election.

Frumin is an attorney and longtime education activist in Ward 3. Zukerberg is also an attorney, and entered the race to press for the decriminalization of marijuana.

Silverman is a former reporter and policy analyst for the progressive Fiscal Policy Institute. Settles is a businessman who grew up in Ward 4 but now lives in Logan Circle.

Mara is a Ward 1 school board member who unsuccessfully ran for the council in 2008 and 2011. Redd is an author and social activist.

Mara, Silverman, Frumin and Zukerberg are white. Bonds, Brown, Redd and Settles are black.

Over the next three months, the candidates will participate in dozens of forums and debates, seek out endorsements and raise money for mailers and campaign signs.

In a special election in 2011, there were nine candidates on the ballot.

(This post has been updated.)