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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Losing candidate does not show up for court hearing challenging Rep. Raulerson

State Rep. Dan Raulerson, then the mayor of Plant City, pictured in 2012.


State Rep. Dan Raulerson, then the mayor of Plant City, pictured in 2012.



An attempt to throw out state Rep. Dan Raulerson's reelection stalled for a second time Wednesday after the losing candidate who filed the lawsuit failed to show up to a court hearing in Tallahassee.

Jose Vazquez Figueroa, a Democrat who lost to Raulerson in the November election, filed a lawsuit in September alleging that paperwork errors made Raulerson, R-Plant City, inelligible to seek re-election. He pointed to what appeared to be Wite-Out or some other correction fluid on Raulerson's financial disclosure filed with the state, which Figueroa says violated notary laws and made the document invalid.

After Figueroa did not appear for the hearing, which he requested, Circuit Judge Charles Dodson on Wednesday denied a request by Figueroa to rule on the matter in an expedited hearing.

Figueroa is representing himself in the case.

Before the Nov. 8 election, the case ran into a procedural snafu after Figueroa scheduled a hearing without notifying Dodson and the defendants' lawyers of what he planned for the judge to consider that day.

Raulerson won the election with 58.5 percent of the vote. He was sworn into office for a third term on Nov. 22.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 10:54am]


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