Could Mystery Green Party Candidates Sway Legislative Races?
News article in the HeraldTribune.com
Published Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 4:30 a.m.
In the last hours before Friday’s noon deadline to qualify as candidates for state legislative races, three people each paid the $1,915.92 filing fee to enter as Green Party candidates.
Nothing unusual in that. But they entered three of the most heated races in the state for incumbents. The suspicion among some Tallahassee folks is that the candidates representing the left-leaning party were entered by Republicans solely to siphon off a few votes from the Democrats.
Green Party of Florida spokeswoman Julia Aires of Sarasota said she had never heard of the three candidates, adding that she and her fellow members would have vetted and endorsed any candidates carrying the party’s banner.
“I never heard of them,” she said. “I don’t understand this at all.”
Horacio Lemus IV entered the race defended by incumbent Democrat Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, against Republican Laura Benson.
Anthony Joseph Mauro entered the race between incumbent Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-Palm Beach Gardens, and former state Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell, a Democrat.
Aniana H. Robas entered the state Senate race between incumbent Sen. Dave Aronberg, R-Greenacres, and Republicans Matt Caldwell and Ed Heeney.
Efforts to contact the three Green Party candidates were unsuccessful.
Aronberg said he was surprised by Robas’ entry into the race, but had no reason to think it was nefarious.
“I know (Green Party) candidate Ralph Nader helped George W. Bush get elected, but I don’t think there was an explicit agreement,” he quipped.
Longtime Republican Party campaign consultant Rick Wilson is working for the party’s state Senate candidates. He was not aware of any Republican effort to enter Green Party candidates, but offered his own pun on the liberal party’s candidates.
“I think they basically emerge organically,” he said . “There’s no question of them taking a couple of points off the top of Democrats.”
-- Joe Follick
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Martin County Democratic Executive Committee has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Martin County Democratic Executive Committee endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
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