Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kendrick Meek turns in last batch of voter petitions to qualify for Senate ballot

Kendrick Meek hands a box of voter petitions to Melinda Noble at the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Office.

Getty Images

Kendrick Meek hands a box of voter petitions to Melinda Noble at the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Office.

MIAMI — U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek on Monday gave elections officials the last of the petitions signed by voters to get him on the ballot, capping an almost yearlong effort to build momentum for his U.S. Senate race.

His campaign says it has collected 145,000 names. The petitions give Meek a trove of information on sympathetic voters the Miami Democrat will need to take on his GOP rival in the general election.

Gov. Charlie Crist and former House Speaker Marco Rubio are vying for the Republican nomination in the primary.

Flanked by their two children, Meek and his wife, Leslie, signed their own petitions at a Miami-Dade elections office and put the forms in the final box.

"Well, this is it," Meek said before turning the box over to a clerk. "It's a message to the state of Florida that we wanted to listen to their needs."

If elections departments across the state verify 112,476 of the signatures, Meek's campaign says, he will be the first candidate to qualify for statewide office by petition instead of paying a roughly $10,000 qualifying fee.

"It costs a lot more to do it the way we've done it, not only financially but in human work-hours," Meek said, adding that volunteers had been double-checking petitions until the wee hours. "This effort made me a better candidate, and I'm sure will make me a better senator."

Abe Dyk, Meek's campaign manager, said signatures were collected all over the state, including counties like Pinellas and Hillsborough. And Meek said he made a point to focus on North Florida, where Democrats need to blunt GOP support to succeed.

Party affiliation doesn't matter in canvassing for signatures, and Dyk said the campaign gathered names from more than 10,000 registered Republicans. Supervisors of elections have until April 19 to certify the signatures.

Meek and a handful of supporters turned in the petitions the day after Crist and Rubio, faced off on a nationally televised debate on Fox News Sunday.

"It was more about the two of them, personal attacks on one another … than on the issues," Meek said.

Earlier, on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Meek said he is ready for either of the dueling Republicans but dodged the question of which one he'd rather face. Polls have suggested that both Crist and Rubio hold comfortable leads over Meek.

Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre is also a candidate for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Kendrick Meek turns in last batch of voter petitions to qualify for Senate ballot 03/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 29, 2010 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise amid 'worship' of leakers

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — CIA director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.

    CIA director Mike Pompeo said the U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop information from leaking.
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Why Grenfell tower burned: Regulators put cost before safety

    World

    The doorbell woke Yassin Adam just before 1 a.m. A neighbor was frantically alerting others on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower about a fire in his apartment. "My fridge blew up," the man shouted.

    At least 79 people were killed in the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, and the toll is expected to rise.
  4. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  5. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101