Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Green Party files suit against District 44 candidate

A legal cloud is overshadowing Election Day in the race for Hernando County's key legislative seat.

The co-chairwoman of the Florida Green Party is pursuing legal action against Green Party candidate Sarah Roman, who appears on the ballot in State House District 44.

Jayne King, who lives in Delray Beach, filed court papers in Pasco County in September alleging Roman was "recruited to file as a Green Party candidate for the purpose of diverting votes … solely as a means of manipulating the election process."

Roman, a 22-year-old from Port Richey who lives outside District 44, is one of the so-called Florida Five exposed by the St. Petersburg Times in June.

These mysterious candidates changed party affiliation to the Green Party at the last minute with no knowledge from Green Party officials. They then paid the filing fees to run in five legislative districts across the state.

Green Party and Democratic Party officials called it an "election scam" and suggested Republicans were behind it. In 2000, Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader attracted hundreds of votes observers said likely would have gone to Democrat Al Gore, who lost to Republican George W. Bush in Florida by 537 ballots.

The legal action, first disclosed Saturday by the New Times in Broward-Palm Beach, asks a judge to compel Roman to produce bank records detailing how she paid the $1,915 filing fee and to testify about who asked her to run for office.

"We do not want to have any kind of election fraud," King said in a phone interview. "This is a fraudulent misuse of the Green Party name."

King said she decided to target Roman specifically. "Hers was really the most obvious in terms of her financial situation … and something looking suspicious," she said.

Roman lists her net worth at $5,219, largely a $1,200 car and $1,300 in furniture, according to financial disclosure reports.

She claimed to make $15,000 from her job at a Salvation Army community center in Pasco County and $12,000 as a waiter at TGI Friday's in Clearwater.

She paid her filing fee with a $2,000 personal loan and now appears on the ballot today with Republican incumbent Robert Schenck and Democrat Jason Melton (who is replacing Joseph Puglia).

Green Party officials still have not reached Roman. Her only contact about the campaign came in a phone conversation and e-mail to the Times in June.

In the e-mail, Roman said she was offended at the suggestion she is a Republican Trojan horse. "I have educated myself about what the Green Party represents and feel it is closely aligned with my beliefs," she wrote.

Since then, Roman has not responded to numerous calls for comment but she apparently filled out a Times campaign questionnaire.

Her attorney, Jeff Lucas of New Port Richey, responded to the legal action Oct. 24, denying any improprieties. Lucas did not return calls for comment Monday.

The parties are expected to appear in court Jan. 6.

John Frank can be reached at or (352) 754-6114.

Green Party files suit against District 44 candidate 11/03/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.