Election supervisor sued over special City Council race

David Taylor files the lawsuit Thursday against Supervisor Mike Hogan

Jacksonville attorney David Taylor adresses the media in front of the Duval County Supervisor of Elections office Thursday afternoon. Taylor filed a lawsuit that said that the Supervisor of Elections failed to provide the public notice regarding qualifying for the City Council District 12 special election pursuit to state law.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Duval County supervisor of elections, Mike Hogan, over qualifying for the August special election to replace outgoing City Councilman Doyle Carter.

David Taylor is asking the court to require the supervisor of elections to reopen the qualifying period for the special election and provide notice of a new qualifying period for the District 12 vacancy, according to the lawsuit. 

Carter, who represents District 12 on Jacksonville’s City Council, announced his resignation in a letter to Hogan on June 7 in order to run for county tax collector.

Taylor filed the petition Thursday with the Fourth Circuit Court.

In a press conference, Taylor said that Hogan failed to meet state laws requiring public notice be given regarding qualifying for elections.

His lawsuit specifically states that no notice was published in a general circulation newspaper at least 10 days before the first day of the qualifying period.

“This is not all about me,” Taylor said. “This is about the people that live on the Westside of Jacksonville and giving them options and standing up for what’s right.”

Taylor said that he made multiple phone calls to the supervisor of elections office to ask about qualifying but did not receive an answer. 

He said that he did not know if he, or anyone from his offices, sent an email and he did not come to the office in person to file paperwork because he did not know the qualifying period.

The qualifying period for the special election opened at noon on June 25, and closed at noon on June 27. 

At the end of qualifying, only one candidate qualified: Randy White. One other candidate, Sharol Noblejas, filed but failed to qualify. 

White's campaign has already raised over $86,000 for the special election, according to the financial reports on the supervisor of elections' website.

“If this is properly noticed and the window of time to qualify is properly provided, there may be others that may want to enter in this race.”

Taylor said that residents of District 12 deserve to be able to decide who they want their representative to be.

“At the end of the day, I simply want to see our elected officials comply with state law and give us, Westside individuals, an opportunity, if we so fit, to either run if we want to run and then accordingly vote for who we want to vote for,” he said.

News4Jax has reached out to Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan for comment, but have not yet heard back.