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Fresen's re-election picture includes past of shaky finances

FresenIn disclosure forms filed in June, state Rep. Erik Fresen presents a picture of financial health, earning $225,000 last year with just $103,000 in outstanding debts for student loans.

But the Republican lawmaker’s finances are murkier than they first appear. There’s the $29,000 debt to the Internal Revenue Service that remains unpaid. There’s the $10,000 citation for a code violation. And there’s the longstanding foreclosure lawsuit that nearly cost Fresen his Little Gables home.

As Fresen seeks a third term in the Legislature, he is being challenged in the Republican primary by first-time candidate Amory Bodin, who is making an issue of Fresen’s finances on the campaign trail. The two will square off in the Aug. 14 primary in newly created District 114, which stretches from northern Coral Gables through West Miami to Cutler Bay.

“Tax liens are the type of thing you don’t leave hanging over your head,” said Bodin, an accountant who lives a few blocks away from Fresen. “Is that a guy you want handling your $70 billion budget?”

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