State Rep. Joe Negron has an uphill battle in his bid to replace disgraced ex-Congressman Mark Foley.
Unlike his Democratic challenger Tim Mahoney, a last-minute GOP switch means Negron’s name won’t be on the ballot.
Voters have to vote for Foley to vote for Negron. Fellow Republican Jeb Bush admits explaining the mess to voters could be tough.
"It’s a definitely, it’s an odd one. It’s an unnatural, unconventional message," said Gov. Bush.
The Secretary of State’s Office recommended county supervisors post signs explaining that a vote for Foley is really a vote for Joe Negron, but the state Democratic Party says not so fast. State law bans electioneering, or working for a specific candidate, within 100 feet of the polls.
Democratic Party chair Karen Thurman says that should include posting candidates' names whether or not they’re on the ballot.
"We know that the Secretary of State has said electioneering is illegal and yet they turn around in this instance and say, oh, well, maybe not in this case," Thurman said.
The governor argues no one would be "endorsing" anyone with the notices, just informing voters.
"The suggestion of the notice isn’t to say vote for candidate x, it’s, say, a reminder that Mark Foley’s not running."
Democrats argue it’s just a desperate bid to hang on to a Republican seat in Congress, and the state should leave that up to the voters.