A lawsuit filed in Leon County Circuit Court alleges Daniel John Matthews, a write in-candidate in the Florida House of Representatives District 64 race, does not live in the district. Florida election law clearly states, “At the time of qualification, all write-in candidates must reside within the district represented by the office sought.” The plaintiff alleges Daniel John Matthews does not live with his parents at their Tampa area home. Matthews presence on the ballot closes the Republican primary between Miriam Steinberg and James Grant to non-Republican voters. If Matthews is removed, all voters will choose between Steinberg and Grant in the August 26th primary.
Michael Steinberg, a Tampa attorney and spouse of candidate Miriam Steinberg, filed the writ of mandamus on Monday. In addition to Matthews, the defendants include Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer and Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark. Steinberg alleges matthews does not live in Tampa. He states Matthews admits he works in Tallahassee which is 274 miles away; “However, on the section for source of income, he listed that he worked for “Cats on Deck – 6054 Miller Landing Cove, Tallahassee, FL 32312. The qualification forms were notarized in Tallahassee, Florida. The Defendant’s parents own a home and reside at 4703 Windflower Circle, Tampa, FL 33624 and the Defendant is registered to vote using that address, however, it appears that the Defendant actually resides in Tallahassee, FL and was not a resident within the boundaries of District 64 at the time he attempted to qualify.”
On Thursday afternoon, RED BROWARD contacted Cats On Deck at the number listed on their website. We asked to speak to Matthews and he came to the phone. We asked Matthews if he could speak about his race for the Florida House. Matthews stated he had not received notice of the lawsuit. He said he was at work and asked if he could call back later. When asked how he could work in Tallahassee while living in Tampa, Matthews hung up the phone.
The Plaintiff wants the court to determine Matthews does not qualify for the race and, “Enjoin Defendants, Browning, and all persons and entities acting under their direction or in concert with them, from precluding any qualified voters registered to vote within the boundaries of House District 64, regardless of party or nonparty affiliation, from voting in the August 2014 primary election for the State House of Representatives District 64.”