Democratic candidate Omari Hardy is arguing Rep. Al Jacquet failed to properly qualify for the House District 88 contest.
Candidates faced a noon deadline Friday to submit a qualifying check for $1,781.82. Per the state’s candidate qualifying handbook, that check must be drawn from a candidate’s campaign account.
“A personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or cash is not acceptable,” the handbook states.
According to the Division of Elections, Jacquet submitted his qualifying check Thursday and is listed as “qualified.”
That check, however, appears to be drawn from his personal account. His full name, “Alson Jacquet,” is printed on the check along with a P.O. Box corresponding to Jacquet’s law office.
In the top left, Jacquet wrote the message “Al Jacquet Campaign Account” by hand. He also wrote by hand a different address which is associated with Jacquet’s campaign in other paperwork submitted to the state. It does not appear the actual money was drawn from that campaign account, however.
Florida Politics has reached out to Jacquet to clarify the issue. This story will be updated if a reply is received.
Hardy maintains Jacquet did not follow the rules.
“Typically, a candidate who has recently opened a campaign account receives starter checks, and starter checks contain no printed indication as to the name of the account. Such candidates therefore write the name of the account and its address somewhere on the check,” Hardy wrote in a Friday letter to Kristi Willis of DOE.
“The check submitted today by Mr. Jacquet was written from an established account. It is a permanent check. It has a name printed on it, but it is not his campaign’s name; it is his name. It has an address printed on it, but it is not his campaign’s address; it is his law firm’s address.”
Hardy says a failure to abide by state law means Jacquet did not properly qualify for the contest.
“It stands to reason that the bank account used to pay the qualifying fee is not a campaign account, and that Mr. Jacquet’s check should be rejected, and that he should therefore be disqualified as a candidate in Florida House District 88.”
Hardy and Jacquet have a history stemming from an incident in which Jacquet directed and anti-gay slur at Hardy in a video posted to Jacquet’s Facebook page. Jacquet later apologized for the incident.
Democratic candidates Philippe Louis Jeune, Sienna Osta and Cedrick Thomas also qualified for the contest, as have Republican Danielle Madsen and non-party affiliated candidate Rubin Anderson.