But while the rest of the Legislature heads to lunch or to cars for a drive home, Powell will troop across the street to the Leon County Courthouse for a case that will shape his political future.
Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis will hear West Palm Beach Democrat Rubin Anderson’s challenge that he should have been allowed to qualify as a primary candidate in Palm Beach County’s District 30 Senate seat, won by Powell on Election Day.
Anderson 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 correct such a situation. But Anderson had no remedy because his check was returned after qualifying closed.
Anderson, though, gained new legal life when the section of state law that thwarted him was declared unconstitutional in September by the Florida Supreme Court.
The court ordered a new mayoral election in Miami Gardens after candidate James Wright’s 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.
Given the time lapse — and Powell poised to be sworn-in — it’s difficult to forecast what kind of election re-do could be in order.
Anderson had wanted the court to order a new primary with his name on the ballot along with Powell and trial lawyer Michael Steinger, who lost to the Riviera Beach Democrat in the Aug. 30 primary.
Powell went on to win the seat over Republican Ron Berman, carrying 54 percent of the vote.