Will Republicans Be Able To Vote In House Race? Judge Could Decide This Week





Tallahassee Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds III could decide as early as this week if the Florida House District 96 race is an open primary or closed to only Democrats.

Two people in the courtroom on Monday said the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office told the judge it will treat the race as a closed primary for Democrats only, unless ordered by the court to open it.

The Broward Elections Office’s assertion in court differs from a Sun-Sentinel report late last week. That report stated that elections officials were preparing for an open primary. Absentee ballots were being prepared for Republicans and independents, in addition to Democrats.

The elections office is due to mail overseas absentee ballots this week.

The Tallahassee case involving write-in Ronald Bray is one of three winding their ways through state courts challenging the different qualification requirements for write-ins as unconstitutional.

Bray does not live in the district.

State law states a write-in must live in the district upon qualifying, but the Constitution indicates legislators need not live in the district until elected.

The entrance into the race of write-in Bray closed the primary to only Democrats.  Bray is being sued to knock him off the ballot because he violated the state law on residency for write-ins.

Bray’s supporters say he is protected by the Constitution.

“We have asserted in our papers that the Constitution sets the qualifications for legislators,” said Mark Herron, a Tallahassee attorney representing the Florida Democratic Party, which intervened on Bray’s side.

That was the same argument that Mike Moskowitz,  Brey’s Fort Lauderdale attorney, made to the court by telephone.   Moskowitz said the Florida Supreme Court has ruled four times since in the 1980s that the Constitution trumps any other residency law such as the one that states Bray must live in the district when he qualified for office.

Reynolds decision as early as this week won’t end the case. If the write-in residency requirement is found unconstitutional, there is an automatic appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

The Democratic primary candidates in North Broward’s House District 96 are County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs and former state Rep. Steve Perman. There is no Republican so the winner will be chosen in the primary.

Bray is a political associate of Jacobs, who it is believed attempted to close the primary using him. The theory is that Jacobs would have less appeal to Republicans than Perman in a primary.



9 Responses to “Will Republicans Be Able To Vote In House Race? Judge Could Decide This Week”

  1. A real joke says:

    A typical trick from Jacobs having her friend put his name in running for office to help her. I am sure she learned a lot from Ritter who is as corrupt as they come, Holness is a crook, and Sharief who has already been nailed lying about her income. I wish they were all as good as Kair who to me is a super Commissioner and glad that Gunzberger is termed out since she did aot of illegal things

  2. replace Browards SOE says:

    sounds like a repeat of the courts decision handing off a race to a candidate that didn’t earn it via hanging chads (circa 2000).
    except this time its way before the votes are cast

    What is with Florida that we don’t follow the rule of law and have laws no one knows?

  3. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Dr. Snipes said she would print it as an open primary but does not expect to have to count the non-democratic vote. She was just being proactive. She needs to start printing overseas absentee ballots really soon and by printing an open ballot she only needs to flip the switch on the counting which could be done on election day. This will be interesting if this is a closed race but has ballots printed as being open. Boy are people going to be confused.

  4. Republican Perman says:

    Republican Perman is behind this lawsuit. He wants Republican voters to win a Democratic primary for him. Hypocrite.

  5. Carpetbagging Perman says:

    Perman is so desperate to be in the House he ran four times in Palm Beach County and he lives in Broward

  6. Hallandale Beach Blog says:

    Oh, you mean THAT Mark Herron!
    The Tallahassee-based elections attorney who in the past year has found himself defending much-bigger fish than Ronald Bray.
    Herron has represented, among others, both Broward County Comm. Barbara Sharief and Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper in their respective cases before the Florida Commission on Ethics.

    In both cases, to the relief of all Broward County residents who actually care about ethics and want to see them defended, UNSUCCESSFULLY.

    Sun Sentinel
    Broward County mayor faces ethics charges
    State looks at Mayor Sharief’s financial disclosures
    By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
    6:35 PM EDT, April 30, 2014

    Florida Mediatrackers
    Hallandale Beach Mayor Fails to Report Texts to Lobbyist During Meeting
    By Tom Lauder, July 31, 2013

  7. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Jacobs cannot win an open primary, she couldn’t win a closed one either, right Rep. Frankel?

  8. Carpetbaggin Jacobs says:

    Jacobs is so desperate to be in the House she ran in a District she doesn’t even live in

  9. Just One Vote says:

    @Ghost and @Carpetbaggin
    jacobs is so desperate to stay in elected office she will run for anything

    twelve years on bcc (and not as old as lieberman and gunzberger) and term limited has brought about this power mongering