UPDATED: In a Leon County courtroom, the Republican Party of Florida made a last minute attempt to remove a tea Party candidate from the ballot in a Central Florida state legislative race. But time was an issue because the ballot gets certified at 5 p.m. Thursday and the circuit judge appeared skeptical about granting an injunction.
Rep. J.C. Planas, a termed-out Miami lawmaker, was hired by the party to argue the case on behalf of a voter in House District 34, Christopher Denion. (Rep. Chris Dorworth, a future House speaker, currently holds the seat.) Planas argued that John DeVries is a bogus tea party candidate and asked Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford to disqualify him for technical issues surrounding his paperwork and a loan from Florida Tea Party leader Fred O'Neal.
"What we have here is the RPOF verses the Tea Party of Florida," O'Neal said in his opening statement. "They are trying to take us off the ballot."
At the end of the day, the judge rejected the RPOF's efforts to get an injunction but Planas said he will push it to trial. He also said he will ask prosecutor Willie Meggs to file a criminal case against DeVries.