Anna Eskamani sues Democratic challenger - Florida Politics

Anna Eskamani sues Democratic challenger

Anna Eskamani

Anna Eskamani, campaigning for the Orange County seat opening up in Florida’s House District 47, has sued Democratic primary opponent Lou Forges, an Ocoee real estate agent.

Eskamani said the suit was filed in Leon County Circuit Civil court Friday morning.

The issue: Forges’ qualifying paperwork was notarized by his wife, a no-no under state notary law.

His entry came as a shock to Orange County Democratic Party leadership, leaving the party scrambling, with little success to talk with Forges, find out who he is, and why he chose to enter a last-week challenge to a candidate the party has strongly backed.

It is known that Forges is working with Corridor Consulting Group, an agency that has worked on the campaigns of Republicans Mike Miller, former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, Orange County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey, and Orange County Commission candidate Bobby Lance, among others.

“All signs indicate that Lou Forges was recruited by the Republican Party to run against me, creating a fake primary,” Eskamani said in a statement.

“Republicans know they can’t win this seat legitimately, so they’ve resorted to what they know best: Dirty tricks and corrupt tactics,” she said. “I have committed my life’s work to fighting for what is right, and voters can count on me to always fight for them, whether it be in the streets, in the legislature, or in a courthouse.”

Eskamani, a former official with Planned Parenthood, has been a grassroots organizer for years.

“We feel confident that our request for declaratory and injunctive relief will be met. Rules and laws matter, that’s why we have them,” she added. “Though the GOP is great at playing games, they should think twice before trying to play games with our democracy, and with the people of House District 47.”

Eskamani, of Orlando, is aiming for the seat being vacated by Miller, who is running for Congress.

Others who qualified include Republicans Mikaela Nix of Orlando, a lawyer, and businessman Stockton Reeves.

Nix responded to the lawsuit later Friday: “How very ‘establishment’ of Anna Eskamani to sue to kick a fellow Democrat and African-American off the ballot. It looks like her political playbook is the same one that Hillary Clinton used against Bernie Sanders.”

In a statement, Nix said she plans to win “the right way”: By “knocking on doors and winning over voters, not using legal loopholes to deny voters a choice or citizens access to the ballot.”

HD 47 covers north and central Orange County, including much of Winter Park and Orlando. 

The address Forges lists on his voter registration is a house in Ocoee, well outside HD 47, which Forges apparently sold 18 months ago. And the address Forges uses for a homestead exemption is in Apopka, also well outside HD 47.

Eskamani is represented by longtime Tallahassee election-law attorney Mark Herron, who works with Democrats.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

6 Comments

  1. Funny she should talk about laws and rules when she has spent quite some time working for a PROVEN LIAR and lawbreaker in Carlos Smith. Watch this video as he lies throughout the whole video claiming things that were not true as there was no info in a public records request to back up what he claimed in this video.

      1. NOPE I have the public records file with NO emails from ANY constituent like he claims and NO vet report on the animal. If wither exist he did it in private which would VIOLATE Florida law. So take your pick, he either lied or violated open records law.

  2. Funny thing though is Nix only represents half of our population with her law firm. And our previous rep only answered calls from those who supported his viewpoint. Anna represents all people and will talk to all people no matter their views. It’s time we go back to everyone having a say, not just those who agree with us.

  3. Every once in a while the developer or campaign contractor leans heavily on whoever in `maybe the back room is still a democrat. I met one who told me he had to attend as he was the only Democrat in the office.They must fill out a form or lose a job. We have majority Democrats in this county but don’t lose any sleep over the poor lost soul republicans. They still own the infrastructure and the sleazy taxpayer funded contracts. Their dirty tricks never keep them up at night.

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