A Florida State law written more than a half-century ago is telling Democrats who they can and cannot pick to replace the late April Freeman in the election against right-wing Republican Greg Steube.
A Federal judge is now weighing whether that ancient law will deny the Party the choice of highly-qualified candidates.
Charlotte County Democratic Party Chair Patrick Hurley says. “This old Florida statute seems absurd and insulting to the intelligence of all voters. The law restricts voters from selecting a candidate who has run in a recent race. To what purpose does this serve the people who have been dealt the misfortune of losing their top candidate to an untimely death?”
Upon learning of the legal oddity, Democrat and former U.S. JAG Navy Pam Keith promptly challenged the constitutionality of the law in Federal court. Joined in the motion was the former candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture R. David Walker. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich issued a Temporary Restraining Order to halt a vote today, to allow Ms. Keith and Mr. Walker’s case is to be heard at 12:00 noon on Monday October 1st at the U.S. Federal Courthouse at 801 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Hurley continued, “This statute basically handicaps the race to put in a complete newcomer with no recent campaign infrastructure, supporters, financing, regulatory filings in place, etc. This law clearly tilts the playing field against the voters of either party. We need to level the playing field, not warp it further. I encourage any Floridian that cares about voters rights to be at the courthouse on Monday.”
Democratic state legislative candidates are pledging to fix Florida’s cumbersome laws that hamstring voters. Two local candidates, Senate Dist. 23’s Oliva Babis, and Dist. 26’s Catherine Price have promised to shake up Tallahassee and help pass laws that truly represent the needs of Floridians.