Republican Apryl Campbell booted from HD 42 ballot as check comes in short

Apryl Dymond Campbell
Her qualifying fee check was for wrong amount. No one noticed until too late. She's out.

The final one in is out.

Republican House District 42 candidate Apryl “Dymond” Campbell filed her qualifying materials at 11:59 a.m. Friday morning.

For a brief, shining moment Friday, Campbell got a bit of Tallahassee media attention, having been the last candidate at the desk. She was there to qualify for the HD 42 Republican Primary Election, hoping for a shot at Democratic incumbent Rep. Anna V. Eskamani in the central Orange County district.

Campbell’s paperwork got time stamped 11:58 and 11:59 a.m., just short of the noon deadline.

Apparently, no one — including Campbell herself — noticed right away that the check she handed over to cover her qualifying fee was for the wrong amount.

And then, on closer inspection, Division of Elections clerks saw by Monday that her check appears to be $81 short of the $1,781.82 fee needed to run for the House. Her handwriting looks like, “One thousand seven hundred (and) 82 cents.” There was no numeric entry of any amount to confirm or refute that written number.

The Division of Elections disqualified her from the ballot.

So she’s out.

Still in are Republican candidates David Dwyer of Orlando and Bonnie Jackson of Winter Park.

Eskamani, who has served two terms, has no Democratic Primary opponent.

“She was the last person there and they had a pretty good system going. They had a desk set up to make sure everything is notarized. They usually do a pretty good job, in my view, reviewing documents candidates give before they walk out the door. But in this case it really was a rush-rush thing,” said consultant Michael Dobson. “I believe when she handed them the check, I don’t think anyone ever looked at it.”

It would have been very simple, he said, for her to just write another check.

Campbell, an independent insurance adjuster, is looking for an avenue of appeal, talking Tuesday to Division of Elections officials about what options she might have.

She may consider the prospect of suing to get on the ballot. That happened two years ago when Yukong “Mike” Zhao was disqualified for the ballot because his paperwork was deemed late, even though it was in the Division’s incoming mail box at the deadline. He sued and won and was reinstated to the ballot.

Dobson said that’s what Campbell may do, “unless the Division of Elections decides to look at this again.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


One comment

  • It’s Complicated

    June 22, 2022 at 10:24 am

    There are inherent risks to showing up to file paperwork with <120 seconds left during the qualifying period. This is a good example of one of those risks.

    Reply

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