December special election set for Florida House seat

MyFloridaHouse.gov

Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott has ordered a special election for House District 13, the Westside district where incumbent state Rep. Reggie Fullwood's paperwork for re-election was disqualified.

There will be a special primary on Dec. 16 and a special general election on Feb. 17.  Candidates for the seat must qualify by 5 p.m. Oct. 22. 

No other candidates qualified to run against Fullwood by the June 30 filing deadline before the Florida Primary, so when his paperwork was invalidated due to errors blamed on a notary public, that left no one running for the seat.

Fullwood filed a lawsuit criticizing his disqualification and the slow response from by the secretary of state and governor's offices in dealing with the matter. He contends that holding a primary nine days before Christmas would suppress the potential voter turnout, holding the general election in February would leave the district without representation for months, and not scheduling the election at the same time as the November general election would cost taxpayers $225,000.

The legal challenge was denied by Leon County Circuit Judge James Hankinson.

Jacksonville City Councilman Ronnie Gaffney, who planned to seek the legislative seat in the 2016, told News4Jax that he had already filed paperwork to run in the special election.

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