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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats to drop suit over write-in candidate

Attorney Bob Altman, attorney for two Pasco Democrats, said they will drop their lawsuit challenging the candidacy of County Commission write-in candidate John M. Taylor. Altman met with Taylor's attorney today in Tampa to seek more records of Taylor's residency in the commission district.

"With the time constraints we are under because of the need to mail out absentee ballets, we feel the burden of proving that Mr. Taylor did not reside in District 1 would be too great, and could potentially disenfranchise the over-seas absentee voters as well," Altman said in a statement.

With Taylor running, the 170,000 non-Republican voters in Pasco will not be able to vote in the Aug. 26 primary between incumbent Ted Schrader and challenger John Nicolette that decides the next commissioner. State law only allows an open primary when candidates from the same party have no opposition, even though Taylor -- a Republican linked to Nicolette -- will never have his name on the ballot.

-- David DeCamp/Times staff writer

See the statement below.

Write-in Candidate Lawsuit is being dropped. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Taylor’s only intention for his candidacy was to disenfranchise over ½ of the registered voters of Pasco County, after meeting with John Taylor’s attorney this morning we have decided that it is appropriate to dismiss the lawsuit.  With the time constraints we are under because of the need to mail out absentee ballets, we feel the burden of proving that Mr. Taylor did not reside in District 1 would be too great, and could potentially disenfranchise the over-seas absentee voters as well.  The last thing we want to do is cause anyone not to be able to vote in this election.  We have notified Mr. Dwyer’s office that we are dismissing the action and that he can notify the Supervisor of Elections office that they should proceed with the printing of the absentee ballots.

Thank you kindly,

Robert N. Altman,

Attorney for the Plaintiffs.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:29am]

    

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