From The News Service of Florida
State Rep. Reggie Fullwood has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s decision to disqualify his candidacy for re-election.
Fullwood, who had been running unopposed in House District 13, missed the qualifying deadline in June because of errors by two notaries public.
The state Division of Elections then set a new round of qualifying for the seat, with a special primary election in December and a special general election in February.
City Council member Johnny Gaffney said he plans to challenge Fullwood in the special election.
Fullwood said that would cost the taxpayers an unnecessary $225,000 because he had “fully and substantially complied” with the qualifying requirement.
A notary forgetting to check a box on my qualifying papers is not a reasonable excuse to place this undue burden on my constituents and the taxpayers of Duval County,” he said in a statement after filing the lawsuit electronically late Tuesday.
Fullwood submitted most of his qualifying paperwork the day before the qualifying period ended, including a check for his fee of $1,781.82.
But the first notary made an error on a financial-disclosure form, so the Florida Democratic Party arranged for a second notary to redo the form and take it to the Division of Elections office. She failed to check a required box at the bottom.
The Florida Times-Union reported that attorney Neil Henrichsen, chairman of the Duval County Democratic Party, has asked for a court order certifying Fullwood as a qualified candidate.