Aronberg sues over write-in loophole
State Sen. Dave Aronberg (left) is suing to open up a Pasco County Commission race. The race originally included two Republicans, incumbent Ted Schrader and John Nicolette, a part-time firefighter and son-in-law of retired county attorney Robert Sumner. Because only two members of the same party sought the seat, all voters would be able to cast ballots, until Taylor filed earlier this month.
"Today’s lawsuit will give 170,000 Democrats, Independents and minor party voters the right to decide who their County Commissionerwill be," said Aronberg, who launched a statewide fight against the use of write-in candidates to close elections to only members of the candidates' party. He is getting free help from New Port Richey lawyer Robert Altman, who also is running for clerk of the circuit court.
Plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are Steve Byle, a Democrat from Hudson, and Deborah Lopez, a voter with no party affiliation from Zephyrhills. They seek Taylor's disqualification as a write-in candidate, which will open up the election to them and all Pasco County voters.
[Scott Keeler, Times files]