Judge blocks Democrats from picking replacement candidate for April Freeman

Mon, Oct 1, 2018

Florida Politics

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the Florida Democratic Party to hold off picking a new candidate for Congress to replace April Freeman, who died last week.

Candidate Pam Keith, who is suing to overturn a state law that prohibits her from running, said a temporary restraining order issued late Friday will give her the chance to make a case why the law that keeps her out of the race is unconstitutional.

The order from U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich sets a hearing for noon Monday, Oct. 1,  in Tampa.

Keith and another candidate filed the suit Friday seeking postponement of Saturday's scheduled meeting of Democratic chairs from the nine counties in the 17th Congressional District to name a replacement for Freeman.

The meeting will still be held Saturday, but no candidate can be selected until after Monday's hearing. 

 Florida law prohibits a candidate from running for more than one public office if the terms of the positions would overlap. 

Keith ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for Congress from the 18th District and R. David Walker lost a bid to be the party nominee for agriculture commissioner.  Walker is also a plaintiff in the case.

The 17th District runs from North Fort Myers north to Polk County and east to Lake Okeechobee.  



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