Two major party congressional candidates in Florida have sued the Florida Elections Division over ballot access. The two candidates had both been running active campaigns, for many months. They both submitted incomplete or incorrect paperwork, so both are being kept off primary ballots unless they win their lawsuits.
The Democratic candidate is Professor Larry Byrnes, running in the 14th district. He went to all the trouble of collecting over 5,400 signatures in lieu of the filing fee. Unfortunately he filled out the form for write-in candidates, not the form for candidates seeking a place on a primary ballot. If Byrnes does not get on the ballot, another Democrat is also running, so the Democratic Party will not be left without a nominee.
The Republican candidate is Bob Hering, running in the 8th district. He is a veteran of the Iraq war. Like Byrnes, he has been campaigning for months. He filed timely but omitted one particular form. This district also has another Republican running, so again, if Byrnes loses, the Republican Party will still have a nominee in this district.
Both candidates charge that the Division of Elections had a duty to inform them that their paperwork was incorrect or incomplete. The two lawsuits are being heard together in Leon County Circuit Court on June 11. Byrnes v Division of Elections, 37-2008-cv-1615, and Hering v Division of Elections, 37-2008-cv-1494. Byrnes is represented by Mark Herron, one of Florida’s most experienced election law attorneys. Thanks to IndependentPoliticalReport for the news about Byrnes.