Do-over Dem primary in Senate District 30? Judge sends dispute to Tallahassee

Rubin Anderson, who says he should be on the ballot in a new Senate District 30 Democratic primary, leaves court today (Bill DiPaolo/The Palm Beach Post)

Rubin Anderson, who says he should be on the ballot in a new Senate District 30 Democratic primary, leaves court today (Bill DiPaolo/The Palm Beach Post)

A lawsuit that seeks to throw out state Rep. Bobby Powell‘s Aug. 30 Democratic primary win in Senate District 30 should be decided in Tallahassee because of its statewide implications, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Tom Barkdull said today.

 

Reporter Bill DiPaolo has today’s developments here.

 

A lawsuit by Rubin Anderson would force Democratic state Senate rivals Michael Steinger, left, and state Rep. Bobby Powell to run again with Anderson on the ballot.

A lawsuit by Rubin Anderson would force Democratic state Senate rivals Michael Steinger, left, and state Rep. Bobby Powell to run again with Anderson on the ballot.

West Palm Beach Democrat Rubin Anderson filed the suit, citing a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling that ordered Miami Gardens to throw out its Aug. 30 mayoral election and conduct a new one. Anderson filed to run against Powell and trial lawyer Michael Steinger, but was disqualified in July after his bank did not honor his campaign’s $1,781.82 check to cover the candidate qualifying fee.

 

Florida law gives a candidate until the end of the qualifying period to rectify such a situation, but Anderson had no remedy because his check was returned after qualifying closed. But the section of state law that thwarted Anderson was declared unconstitutional this month by the Florida Supreme Court. The court ordered a new mayoral election in Miami Gardens after candidate James Wrights qualifying check was rejected because of a bank error.

 

The Supreme Court’s action means an older law is now in effect that gives candidates 48 hours to fix a problem with a qualifying check, even if the qualifying deadline has passed.

 

Anderson wants the court to order a new primary with his name on the ballot along with Powell’s and Steinger’s. Powell won the Aug. 30 primary with 67.3 percent and has been preparing for a Nov. 8 general election against Republican Ron Berman.

 

“This case has statewide implications and should be heard in Leon County circuit court,” Barkdull said today.

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