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Lawsuit argues Bruce Kaplan cannot run for Florida Senate 

via @alextdaugherty

It didn't take long for someone to file a complaint against Bruce Kaplan.

Switching parties a day before the end of qualifying -- as Kaplan did -- is a no-no when it comes to running for office, and now Kaplan faces a lawsuit to get him off the ballot.

Christian Ulvert, a Democratic political consultant working for Kaplan rival Jason Pizzo, filed the lawsuit in the 11th Circuit Court of Florida on Thursday afternoon.

"On information and belief, Kaplan only changed his voter registration from Republican to Democrat in the days before filing and qualifying to run for State Senate, District 38," the suit says. "As Kaplan does not meet the requirements of 12. § 99.021 of the Florida Statutes, he can not run for State Senate as a Democrat and must be removed as a candidate."

Kaplan, 56, filed to run as a Democrat in the District 38 state senate race even though he was registered as a Republican until June 23. Election law in Florida requires candidates to switch parties one year before the start of qualifying.

"By lying on his party loyalty oath and failing to disclose that he was not a member of the Democratic Party until the day before the qualifying period ended, Bruce Kaplan has shown a clear disregard for the law and complete disrespect to all the voters in Senate District 38," Ulvert said in a statement.

Kaplan, a former Miami-Dade county commissioner, is one of seven Democrats who qualified for the heavily Democratic seat that includes Miami Beach and North Miami.

He resigned from his commission seat in 1998 after pleading no contest to charges of falsifying his financial disclosure forms in 1993 and 1994. Kaplan's wife, Janitza Kaplan, unsuccessfully ran in the special election to replace her husband.

"In order to cause as little disruption to our Supervisor of Elections as possible, I have instructed my attorney to move swiftly in order to ensure this matter is resolved before the ballots are printed and further harm is inflicted on our voters," Ulvert said.

--ALEX DAUGHERTY

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