A candidate desiring to receive campaign financing from the fund shall first file a declaration of intent before the end of the qualifying period and prior to collecting any qualifying contributions. The declaration shall be on a form prescribed by the State Election Commission and shall contain a statement that the candidate is qualified to be placed on the ballot, and, if elected, to hold the office sought and has complied with and will continue to comply with all requirements of this article, including contribution and expenditure restrictions. A candidate may not collect exploratory contributions after filing the declaration of intent. Contributions made prior to the filing of the declaration of intent are not qualifying contributions. Any contributions received by a candidate during any precandidacy period which preceded the exploratory period which remain unexpended at the time of the declaration of intent shall be considered exploratory funds and subject to the limits and provisions of section eight of this article.