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Mikaela Nix files new ethics complaint against Stockton Reeves in HD 47 primary

Republican Mikaela Nix has filed an ethics complaint against Stockton Reeves VI, charging that he is hiding expenses in his campaign finance reports.

The two will face off in next Tuesday’s Republican primary for House District 47.

The complaint is the second filed against Reeves on Nix’ behalf. Earlier, it was from an Orange County Republican, who questioned where Reeves’ money was coming from, noting that he lent his campaign $90,000 last year but his personal financial disclosures did not show he had that much available in liquid assets.

Reeves has maintained he would clear that up with addendums, which he has not yet filed. He has until the end of the month.

The winner of Tuesday’s combustive primary battle will face Democratic nominee Anna Eskamani in the November election.

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The new complaint charges that there appears to be no record in Reeves’ campaign finance filings to cover at least 13 campaign mailers Nix’ campaign says Reeves has sent in recent weeks to voters in Florida House District 47.

Reeves said all the appropriate invoices came in after the most recent filing deadline, and he has paid them, and they will be itemized in the next campaign finance report.

Reeves campaign expense reports through Aug. 10 show some small expenses for printing and postage but nothing that could cover wide distribution of mailers to Republican voters throughout HD 47, which covers north and central Orange County.

“It does not appear that the reported expenses include any amounts for any mailers — let alone 13,” Nix wrote in her ethics complaint.

Reeves replied by email that the mailers’ expenses will be appearing soon, because they were only just paid last Saturday, after the Aug. 10 campaign finance filings, the latest available through the Florida Division of Elections.

“Last Friday, I received 14 invoices from Strategic Image Management. On Saturday, I went down to my office, printed them out and took a check totaling almost $67,000 to the FedEx office on Fairbanks and sent that check to their office in Tampa for 2-day delivery,” Reeves wrote in a reply to Florida Politics. “They received it Tuesday.”

The mailers have themselves been an issue, in a campaign in which both Nix and Reeves have complained about the fairness and accuracy of content in mailers attacking them. Reeves’ mailers have included information about Nix’ voting record and about old criminal cases — which had been dropped, never litigated, and expunged — involving Nix as a young woman, stopped for shoplifting and driving offenses.

Attack mailers about Reeves were sent by the third-party political action committee Floridians for Fiscal Responsibility, which is run by Nix’ campaign consultant, John Dowless. They raised questions about his financial reports, and a previous ethics complaint sustained against him in a campaign in the 1990s.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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