James Judge sues for disqualification from the CD 14 ballot

Republican james judge sued the Division of Elections for a decision to disqualify his campaign for Congress.

State Election Officials Friday threw out the polling judge in Florida’s 14th congressional district, saying he signed a local candidate oath instead of the documents required for federal candidates.

But attorneys for the judge allege that state law merely notates the language of an oath that applicants must sign, and the oath signed by the judge should be accepted. Beyond that, the judge submitted his form days before the June 17 qualifying deadline and should have had a chance to resolve any issues, his lawyers say.

“At no time before noon on June 17, 2022 (the end of the qualification period) was the applicant informed of the department’s assertion that the applicant could somehow be disqualified because ‘He failed to file a ‘Federal Office of Candidate Oath with Party Affiliation’ form,” reads a complaint filed with the Leon County Circuit Court.

Meanwhile, his candidacy went from Active to Qualified Elections Division without a word of any bureaucratic issues, according to lawyers for the judge.

The Republican candidate sued the Secretary of State Byrd cordthe Elections Division, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer and Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcusand wants his name on the ballot again.

“The electorate should not be denied the opportunity to vote for the plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.

Until his disqualification, Judge appeared to be a frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge the Democratic U.S. Representative. Catherine Beaver in Florida’s 14th congressional district. He collected important mentions in the race, including of the former US Representative. Ted Yoho. He also raised the most money among Republicans in the race at the end of the first quarter, having declared more than $122,000 in donations and had nearly $75,000 in cash at the end of March.

The race remains a tough climb for whoever secures the GOP nomination. Under a new congress map signed by the governor Ron DeSantisdistrict moves west and turns bluer, with 58.8% of voters under new lines supporting the Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election against 39.72% who favored the Republicans Joe Biden.

The trial of the judge seeking to reverse the ballot in CD 14 comes as Democrats try to hit another Republican, Jerry Torres, out of it. The Florida Democratic Party and other plaintiffs for follow-up Friday to have Torres disqualified, alleging that Torres had wrongfully had his candidate oath stamped by a notary here while he was in Africa.

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