Two more candidates defeated in Miami-Dade County races earlier this month have sued to contest the results, citing a Hialeah absentee-ballot fraud investigation. The lawsuits bring the total number of complaints stemming from the probe to four.
Paul Crespo, who lost a Republican primary against state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, and Alex Jimenez Labora, who came up short in a judicial race against Maria de Jesus Santovenia, filed separate lawsuits Tuesday asking the court to discard absentee ballots cast in the contests.
In the race for an open circuit judge seat, Santovenia, an assistant North Miami Beach city attorney, defeated Labora, a traffic magistrate, 52 percent to 48 percent. Without the absentee vote, according to his lawsuit, Labora would have won, 51 percent to 49 percent.
“My early voting was almost 50-50, and the day of the election I was ahead, and in absentee ballots I was way off,” Labora said. “It didn’t quite make sense.”
Santovenia declined to comment, saying she was unaware the lawsuit had been filed. Candidates had until Tuesday to challenge the Aug. 14 election results.
In the Republican primary for Florida House District 105, Trujillo garnered 56 percent of the vote, compared to Crespo’s 44 percent. Trujillo noted he would win the election even if the absentee ballots were not counted.
“He still loses,” Trujillo said of Crespo. “I’m not sure what he wants.”
Crespo said that without the Miami-Dade absentee vote, he would lose by only 39 votes. “That’s within the margin of a recount,” he said.