Sunday, May 20, 2018
Politics

Candidate for Fasano's former House seat is forced out after failing to qualify

No-party candidate Richard Sikes was disqualified from running to replace Mike Fasano in the state House after he failed to turn in enough voter signatures or pay the $1,187.88 filing fee by today's filing deadline.

Sikes turned in 152 signatures, according to Pasco elections Supervisor Brian Corley. He needed to turn in 253 valid signatures or remit the filing fee by noon to qualify for the special election for House District 36 in west Pasco.

Sikes' disqualification thinned out what has been a crowded field of candidates.

Four others, including three Republicans, are vying to replace Fasano, who resigned three weeks ago to become Pasco's tax collector. A special primary election for Republican candidates is set for Sept. 17. The general election is Oct. 15.

The remaining candidates — Republicans Bill Gunter, Jeromy Harding and Jim Mathieu; and Democrat Amanda Murphy — all met the filing requirements, though three still have another hurdle to cross.

Gunter, Harding and Murphy must move to the district by the general election to meet the requirement that legislators live in the district they represent.

All three have said they plan to move to District 36, which runs west of Little Road and between the Pinellas and Hernando borders.

Sikes, 36, an Iraq war veteran and Port Richey resident, filed to run Aug. 16, saying he wanted to represent constituents without being tied to a political party. He works for an Iowa-based company that helps disabled people access education and find jobs.

Court records show he filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on March 11, 2010, claiming assets of $8,875 and liabilities of $33,230. The case was closed Dec. 2, 2011.

Records also show that as a 17-year-old in 1994, Sikes was charged with burglary, a felony, but according to the case's docket, adjudication was withheld and details of the case were sealed.

Sikes said the bankruptcy resulted after he developed a brain tumor and got behind on medical bills. He said the burglary charge resulted from being "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Daniel Dwyer, an attorney for Pasco's elections office, said a "withhold adjudication" ruling is not the same as a guilty verdict.

If found guilty of a felony, Sikes would have been blocked from voting and seeking office until his rights are restored. By withholding adjudication, Sikes is able to vote and run for office.

"The difference is a withhold adjudication is not a judgment of guilt," Dwyer said.

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Comments
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Updated: 8 hours ago
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18
Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.The committee vot...
Published: 05/16/18
Carlton: Time for Hillsborough’s Uncle Tom Road to go — but artfully.

Carlton: Time for Hillsborough’s Uncle Tom Road to go — but artfully.

In Hillsborough County — where one of the world’s largest Confederate flags still flies near a busy interstate — you may not be surprised to learn there’s an Uncle Tom Road.The name is a flash point and a slur, shorthand for a black person who will d...
Published: 05/16/18
Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell drops out of Pinellas Commission race

Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell drops out of Pinellas Commission race

With six months to go before the Nov. 6 election, Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell on Monday dropped her bid against Pinellas County Commissioner Pat Gerard for the at-large District 2 seat.Caudell said she decided she’d better be better suited f...
Published: 05/14/18
Romano: Hey Gov. Scott, could you hire me, too?

Romano: Hey Gov. Scott, could you hire me, too?

To: The Honorable Gov. Rick ScottDear Governor,It has come to my attention that your administration has recently made some, dare I say, innovative hires for important government positions in the months before you leave office.At the risk of sounding ...
Published: 05/14/18