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Thurston's supporters keep pushing Sheldon to bow out

Jessica@mikevansickler

Florida’s Division of Elections has repeatedly said that it has no authority in establishing whether a candidate meets the qualifications of office.

But don’t tell those angling to get Democratic Attorney General candidate George Sheldon thrown off the ballot because of a technicality. (Psssst: They also happen to be supporters of Sheldon's Democratic opponent in the Aug. 27 primary, Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale). 

A Miami-Dade attorney specializing in elder care filed a lawsuit Friday against Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who oversees the Division of Elections, and Sheldon.

The attorney, Jessica Elliott, (pictured) claims Sheldon’s residency status, which last week raised questions about whether he had been a resident of Florida the past seven years, is enough to disqualify him.

Detzner should decide because he's responsible for accepting qualifying documents from candidates, the lawsuit states. If true, that would might leave Thurston the lone Democrat in the race to square off against Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi in the Nov. 4 general election. But a Secretary of State spokeswoman, however, has stated that's not Detzner's job. Asked for comment about the lawsuit, she said she couldn't comment on pending litigation.

Why would Elliott claim an interest in the race?

According to the man who contacted the media about the lawsuit, media consultant Christopher Norwood, it’s because she’s a registered Democrat, an attorney, and practices in elder care.

“Her statement speaks for itself,” Norwood said.

Elliott wouldn’t return phone calls seeking comment. Norwood said she wouldn’t be interviewed. But he did provide a couple of statements that he says were uttered by her.

“(Sheldon) is not seeing the damage his candidacy is doing to our party going forward,” Elliott said in Norwood’s statement. “Mr. Sheldon’s presence in this race will become a sideshow to the real issues affecting Justice for Women and Minorities, Justice for the Elderly and Justice for the Uninsured and Access for Health Care. This election is far more important than any one Democrat’s desire for office.”

"Jessica enjoys reading, history and movies and the unique opportunities that living in South Florida offers, especially the beach," according to her bio on Eldery Care Law Firm's website. "Jessica loves to travel but considers Miami home. One of her goals is to travel to all fifty states and she is almost halfway there. She is also a trivia buff and hopes you will see her on Jeopardy!"

A woman at the law firm said Elliott no longer works there.

And who’s Norwood?

He’s a member of the Miami-Dade Democratic Black Caucus and a spokesman for the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, which has, as one of its missions, getting black candidates elected.

Was he working on behalf of that mission, or for Thurston’s campaign?

“Absolutely not,” Norwood said. “This is unrelated. And I might point out that the suit was filed by an Anglo-American attorney. We’re trying to clarify whether George Sheldon is qualified to be a candidate.”

Sheldon says he is and will stay in the race.

Thurston has had residency issues of his own, which is one possible reason he’s been quiet on this issue. But his friends have picked up the slack. Last week, Henry Crespo, president of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, asked that Sheldon step aside.

Crespo works with Nortwood in the black caucus, but Norwood said his interest in this case has nothing to do with the black caucus position. It’s strictly protecting the interests of Democrats. Elliott, in other words, is no plant.

“She wants to make sure that the person she votes for can hold office,” Norwood said.  

 

 

Comments

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Steve Cody

The primary is on August 26th, not August 27th as you indicate in the article.

Can't take anymore

I guess the several dozen supporters Thurston has planning to vote for him just want to get their guy into the general election where Pam Bondi will doubtless clean his clock. Can't the damned "professional" Democrats in this state do something besides run "first" candidates: first black, first woman, first transsexual, first Martian? How about a competent candidate who might actually win with a wide voter appeal?

Steve

What is it with Democrats acting like Republicans? Thurston should be ashamed.

MarvinM

First off, I question why candidates for AG races have political party designations attached to them. It should not make any difference.

Second off, I'm pretty sure the R by her name is mostly why Bondi was elected in the first place. Whilst running for the office, I never once saw/heard her (in South Florida at least) on news broadcasts or the political talk shows and in fact I remember watching Michael Putney's show (This Week in South Florida) where he had Dan Gelber on and said he'd asked Bondi to appear but she said she could not and they were gracious enough to play her videotaped statement.

I was extremely underwhelmed by her then and she has proven in the job to be as underwhelming as she came off that morning.

And as AG, all the appeals of suits she should well know are unconstitutional but fights anyway have cost Floridians plenty of real money.

Dan Gelber should have been our AG - He was a good, qualified candidate, and I'd have to say with some appeal. He would have worked for Floridians and not advanced wasteful lawsuits.

I wish he were running again this year but we have to choose from what we have to choose from.

I have no problem voting for someone new if I am not satisfied with the job the person currently holding the position has done, if I believe they can do the job. And as pissy as these guys are being, I still believe they can do the job.

So, for FL Attorney General I will vote for one of them. I will not be voting for Pam Bondi.

ed jenkins

Democrat primary voters will vote for this Thurston as they do not want a candidate on their ballot with questionable qualifications. They encourage this Sheldon to try again next time when he has the qualifications.

JimmyC

Thurston had agreed to keep this race focused on Bondi and not Sheldon; now he has people dishing his dirt for him on Sheldon to make it look like his hands are clean. He employed the same mentality when ousting Rouson from the Minority Office. Clearly, we have a man here who is both self interested and untrustworthy.

On another note, have you seen the two men speak next to one another? There is no comparison as Sheldon articulately proposes his plans for the office based off of his past efforts and extensive qualifications, while Thurston fumbles to articulate a grammatically incorrect sentence. I want my AG candidate to be well spoken and have a track record of success. More importantly, I want my AG candidate to be competent and trustworthy.

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