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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

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Appeals court speeds up case involving DQ’d Tampa write-in candidate


Published:

An appeals court has decided to speed up its consideration of the case filed by the disqualified write-in candidate in the House District 64 race.

The First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee Wednesday granted Daniel John Matthews’ motions to expedite and consolidate cases in his attempt to regain eligibility.

Briefs in the appeal now are due next month, court dockets show.

A Tallahassee judge last month disqualified Matthews as a write-in candidate for the Tampa-area district, finding he didn’t live there when he qualified.

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey also ordered that the primary election between the two remaining candidates, both Republicans, be moved to the November general election and be open to all voters.

Matthews’ lawyers plan to point out that Dempsey’s ruling conflicts with another recent lower-court case.

That decision says a House write-in candidate only has to live in the district by the time of his or her election.

In the meantime, all District 64 voters – regardless of party affiliation – can vote Nov. 4 for either incumbent state Rep. Jamie Grant or challenger Miriam Steinberg, a Tampa engineer.

The district covers eastern Pinellas County and northwest Hillsborough County.

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