Darren Aquino wants recount after 8th place finish
Darren Dione Aquino has tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Jacob Ogles

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“I should've won. I’m going to demand an investigation.”

A candidate who finished near the bottom of the Republican field in Florida’s 19th Congressional District wants to challenge results.

Darren Aquino, a disabilities advocate, expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the results of the primary.

“Tonight corruption [won] and it will cast a cloud over our president,” Aquino tweeted. “The Disable voters did not get their fundamental protection. Florida is in trouble I fear for my president. Lee county is corrupt.”

Quino finished in eighth place, winning just 1,466 votes out of 103,915 cast.

But in comments to Florida Politics, he stressed his concern isn’t about his placement but the low number of votes compared to the support he saw on the ground.

“I want to know where all the disabled votes went,” he said. “I want to know how many accommodations were facilitated to those that were bedridden.

But mostly, Aquino remains in disbelief at his low finish.

“I want a count and if they don’t give me one, I’m going to sue them for it,” he said. “I don’t believe this race. There is no way that I got only 1,400 votes.”

He’s convinced that vote totals, particularly in Lee County, don’t reflect all ballots cast. He said some disabled veterans in Cape Coral complained they were not properly accommodated with vote-by-mail ballots. Now he wants a full accounting of votes.

“The criminals in Lee County they threw out my votes,” he said.

Now he thinks Republicans risk losing the seat to Democrats in the General Election, unlikely considering retiring Rep. Frances Rooney won in 2018 with more than 62% of the vote. But after Cindy Banyai’s upset in the Democratic primary, he suspects Democrats can make the race competitive.

Communist Cindy look how well she did,” Aquino said. “They’ll use that against Byron and he will lose because of this horrible record.”

Banyai won with 28,749 votes out of 49,951 Democratic votes cast. Donalds won the GOP primary with 23,480 votes out of 103,915 cast. Of course, Banyai was in a two-person race and Donalds was one of nine Republicans running.

Aquino points to an internal poll from his campaign that showed him leading the field. He also appeared frequently on OAN.

“I should’ve won,” he said. “I’m going to demand an investigation.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


2 comments

  • Michelle Skidmore

    August 19, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Even if some of his people were disenfranchised, there’s no way he could of made up his 18000 plus vote deficit. He really believes everyone who told him they support him vote that way? Rookie candidate! Furthermore, if he doesn’t like Byrond Donalds, it is vote splitters like him, who had no chance at winning who helped. Imagine if 90 percent of his votes went to Eagle or Askar? Communist Cindy has little chance of winning this district, but this guy is lost.

    • Chuck Floyd

      August 22, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Darren Aquino is a crazie nutjob Dont really understand why yall giving him a platform to go on these insane rants

Comments are closed.


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