The Laura Loomer congressional campaign is ending its effort to appear on the ballot via petition signature, citing concerns about the new coronavirus.
Loomer’s campaign issued a release stating those petition-gathering efforts have been suspended. Instead, the campaign will pay the $10,440 fee to appear on the 2020 ballot as she competes in Florida’s 21st Congressional District.
“While voter engagement is a passion for me and our campaign volunteers, following the White House and CDC’s recommendations I felt it best to limit the community’s exposure to the coronavirus in every way that I could,” Loomer wrote in a statement.
Karen Giorno, a consultant to Loomer’s campaign, also added a statement explaining the move.
“Our volunteers and staff are healthy, and we plan to stay that way. Our tactics are changing out of necessity and will not slow down the growth and enthusiasm of winning this campaign.”
It’s unclear how many petitions the campaign had already gathered, or whether they were on pace to reach their goal prior to suspending those efforts. Florida Politics reached out for comment and will update if the campaign responds.
Loomer is attempting to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel. Frankel’s district encompasses Mar-a-Lago, which is now the primary residence of President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.
The Loomer campaign says it’s also “temporarily suspending door-knocking activities within the community and shifting voter interaction to home phone banking and online outreach.”
Two people have died in Florida after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. After an additional eight cases were reported Tuesday night, the Florida Department of Health has now identified 23 individuals diagnosed with the coronavirus in Florida.
Two of those cases are a nonresidents. Another five Floridians have been returned to the U.S. by officials after testing positive overseas.
“Shifting campaign tactics to keep our community of Senior Citizens healthy won’t deter or lessen our effectiveness and I look forward to the sprint to the end as soon as the risk of the coronavirus passes,” Loomer added.
Loomer has outraised Frankel in the previous two quarters as she mounts her underdog campaign. The district is heavily Democratic, however. Frankel won reelection in 2016 by more than 25 percentage points and ran unopposed in 2018.