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Argenziano sues state over election law

by Dara Kam | December 9th, 2011

Nancy Argenziano, a lifelong Republican and former state lawmaker who also served as chairwoman of the Public Service Commission, has sued the state over a sweeping election law now being challenged in court for different reasons.

Argenziano wants to run as a Democrat against incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in a Panhandle district that includes Tallahassee, where Argenziano lives.

But she can’t because of a provision included in the election law approved by lawmakers earlier this year and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in June. That provision bars candidates from switching parties one year before the qualifying period for the general election begins, meaning the candidate must be registered in the party for nearly 18 months before the 2012 November election. The old law precluded candidates from switching parties six months before the general election.

The provision is unconstitutional, Argenziano’s lawyer Janet Ferris – a former Tallahassee judge – argued in a lawsuit filed in Leon County, because the Florida Constitution “prohibits any law from imposing unnecessary and unreasonable disqualifications on those who wish to seek office.

Argenziano switched her GOP party registration to the Independent Party shortly before the law went into effect this summer, she said. But if she had opted to register with no party affiliation, or “NPA,” she would not be in the fix she is in now.

Requiring a candidate to declare their party affiliation nearly 18 months before the election is “preposterous,” the fiery Argenziano told reporters at a press conference this morning.

“It is tantamount to requiring party declaration before even the full extent of the incompetence and deceit of the changing candidate slate is revealed and works to deprive a person of the ability to confront that deceit and incompetence at the most fundamental level, which is to oppose them on the ballot,” Argenziano said.

Southerland, a Republican, ousted long-time U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, a Democrat, in November 2010.

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2 Responses to “Argenziano sues state over election law”

  1. DrDeath Says:

    I would love to know two thing’s. Where the heck is our Floriduh attorney general, and Eric Holder, our U.S. attorney general. Both are MIA in this matter as the Nazi republican party slowly takes away our civil rights!

  2. theloneconsumer Says:

    I guess we should call this the Charlie Crist law. Because after C saw he , the Governor, would lose in the PRIMARY against Rubio for US Senator, he jumped ship to be an independent so he could spend the millions that the GOP nationwide fundraisers gave to him. Embarassing that GOP Rood would sue to “repo” the “po” money!

    That being said, could we be fair with this law that was passed and say, try to select your party you are running in a year before you run?
    Does Argenziano think 1 1/2 years after her scandal and consequent non-renewal of that $120,000 a year PSC commissioner job, the time for planning for an election came and went?

    Water under the bridge, just she feel, after voting FOR the 2006 Energy Bill that because she bellyached about it 2 years later as a comminssioner, its OK? Because, a Comminssioner needs to be impartial before hearings. That didnt happen with Skop and Argenziano. Maybe the swell populist vote came and went without her….

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