Democratic Rep. Allison Tant’s GOP challenger in House District 9 has withdrawn from the race amid questions over whether she met the requirements to run for the seat.
Ashley Guy qualified for the race as a Republican according to the state Division of Elections, but her candidate oath had not yet been uploaded as of Monday.
Even if it made it in on time, voter records show Guy was registered as a non-party affiliated voter until April. Florida law requires candidates to be a member of the party for which they are seeking the nomination for a full year by the start of qualifying.
Florida Politics obtained a photo of Guy’s candidate oath form, which shows she signed the form asserting to have been a registered Republican for a year before the qualifying date.
Sources tell Florida Politics a lawsuit has been filed seeking to disqualify Guy from running for the seat.
Late Monday, after it was reported that Guy was registered as a non-party affiliated voter as recently as April, a consultant who works with Guy told Florida Politics that the candidate sent a letter to the Florida Division of Elections withdrawing from the race. The letter had not been uploaded to the Division of Elections website as of Monday night.
When Guy exits the race, Tant will be the only candidate who qualified for the ballot in HD 9 and would therefore be re-elected without opposition.
Tant was likely to win re-election even if she faced Guy in November. After redistricting, HD 9 leans strongly Democratic. About 54.3% of voters under the new lines favored Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election, compared to 44.4% who voted for Republican Donald Trump. The district includes the bulk of Leon County.
Tant in 2020 won her seat with 57.8% of the vote over Republican Jim Kallinger, under old HD 9 lines.
The incumbent also has a substantial fundraising advantage, with more than $425,000 raised between her campaign account and political committee, People First Leadership Political Committee.
By comparison, Guy had raised $71,395 including a $50,000 candidate loan as of May 31.
Florida Politics reporter Jacob Ogles contributed to this post.