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Wednesday September 17th 2014

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Candidate’s qualifying check bounced

South Florida Democratic Rep. David Richardson no longer has an opponent for his District 113 seat. The state Division of Elections on Wednesday disqualified Richardson’s challenger, Miami Beach Republican Laura Rivero Levey.

“She has been disqualified and as of today I am the official unchallenged winner in my re-election to the Florida House of Representatives District 113,” Richardson posted on Facebook. “You just can’t make this stuff up. There will be a South Florida party coming soon.”

Richardson said Levey’s qualifying check bounced. Department of State spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said in an email that Levey’s “qualifying check was returned so she is no longer qualified.”

Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Susan Hepworth blamed a bank for the mix-up and said she doesn’t consider the situation closed. “This was an error made by the bank beyond the control of the candidate,” Hepworth said in a prepared statement. “We are working closely with the bank and Division of Elections to get it corrected immediately.”

But Lesser said later the Division of Elections’ decision was “final.” Levey, who ran unsuccessfully for Miami Beach mayor in 2011, opened a campaign account for the House seat on June 12, four days before qualifying started. As part of the candidacy paperwork she included a check for $1,781.82, the qualifying fee. She listed among her contributions $2,000 from the state party. As of June 20, Richardson, a Miami Beach accountant first elected to the House in 2012, had more than $175,000 in his campaign account. He has raised $158,128 and loaned himself another $76,366, while spending $56,909.

source: The News Service of Florida

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