Calling the case “much-to-do about nothing,” a lawyer for Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is asking a circuit judge to dismiss a lawsuit that contends Gimenez should be disqualified from running for a congressional seat this year.
Republican Omar Blanco, who also running in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, filed the lawsuit in April in Leon County circuit court. Blanco contends that Gimenez, also a Republican, did not comply with legal requirements to run for the seat because a check used to pay Gimenez’s qualifying fee misspelled his name.
The $10,440 check submitted to the state in April indicates it is from “Carlos Giminez for Congress,” according to a copy included with the lawsuit. The lawsuit argues that a state election law requires “that any candidate seeking to qualify must present the necessary qualifying documents and payments in the candidate’s name” and that a campaign account must reflect the candidate’s name.
But in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed this week, Gimenez’s lawyer, Robert Fernandez, argued that the county mayor has met legal requirements to be on the ballot.
“Respectfully, this lawsuit seeking to disenfranchise the Republican primary voters of U.S. House District 26 is much-to-do about nothing,” Fernandez wrote. “The sole legal basis put forward by Blanco in the complaint seeking to remove Gimenez from the ballot is that the qualifying fee check provided by Gimenez and accepted by the Florida Division of Elections had inadvertently misspelled the name of the campaign account by stating ‘Carlos Giminez for Congress’ instead of ‘Carlos Gimenez for Congress.’ Literally having an ‘i’ instead of an ‘e’ in the spelling of Gimenez.”
Judge Ronald Flury has scheduled a June 25 hearing on the motion to dismiss the case. Blanco and Gimenez are trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the state.
CD 26 is made up of Monroe County and part of Miami-Dade County.