FL House Rep. Gwyndolen “Gwyn” Clarke-Reed has entered the race for the Florida State Senate District 31 seat currently occupied by Chris Smith. Plantation resident Perry E. Thurston, Jr. jumped into the race two and a half years ago. Term limits prevent Sen. Smith from seeking another term.
Unlike his House seat, Thurston may actually live in this Senate district. Two years ago, this reporter exposed Thurston’s residency games: he claimed to live in a small house in unincorporated Broward, while his wife and children lived in a two story home in Plantation. Thurston’s Plantation home was outside the boundaries of his House district.
The Florida Constitution requires an official to reside in the district as of election day. The Broward County Property Appraiser called Thurston’s residency scheme a violation of the law and removed his homestead tax exemption.
Official records indicated Rep. Clarke-Reed followed the Florida Constitution by actually residing in her House district.