Three Republicans say they have signatures to get on ballot for Wexler congressional seatby George Bennett | November 30th, 2009
Republicans didn’t even field a candidate in 2004 or 2006 for heavily Democratic congressional District 19. But with U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, leaving the Palm Beach-Broward seat in January, no fewer than three GOP candidates say they have collected signatures to get on the ballot for the special election to replace Wexler.
Contractor Ed Lynch, who was the uncontested GOP nominee last year and polled 27.2 percent against Wexler, says he has garnered the 1,163 signatures from registered District 19 voters to qualify for the ballot. FInancial planner Joe Budd and retired police officer Curt Price, both first-time candidates, say they also have met the signature requirement.
Candidates have to turn in their signatures to elections officials for verification by 5 p.m. today.
Those who don’t go the signature route must pay a $9,912 filing fee by noon Friday. Primaries are Feb. 2 and the general election is April 13.
Democratic state Sen. Ted Deutch of Boca Raton plans to pay the filing fee. Democrat Ben Graber, a former state legislator and Broward County mayor, is expected to pay the filing fee as well. A third Democratic candidate, Jose Ruiz, could not be reached this morning.