The campaign treasurer for Broward County Circuit Court candidate Tania Williams is the same man mentioned in the Miami-Dade “ghost” candidate investigation, records show. In records filed in March 2022 with the Florida Division of Elections, Williams listed Jose Riesco of Coral Gables as her campaign treasurer. An odd choice for a longtime Palm Beach county resident who, until recently, trained lawyers for Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor.
Jose Riesco was named in numerous published reports detailing investigations into no-party “ghost” candidates in Miami-Dade elections. In March 2021, former State Senator Frank Artiles was arrested for his role in funding the campaigns of ghost candidates.
According to the Miami Herald, Artiles was charged with felonies related to “offering Alexis ‘Alex’ Rodriguez $50,000 to run as an independent in Miami-Dade’s Senate District 37 race. The goal, investigators say, was to ‘confuse voters and influence the outcome’ of the race to represent Senate District 37, a large swath that includes downtown Miami, Coral Gables and Pinecrest.”
In 2020, the Herald first reported how Artiles had recruited and boasted about planting Rodriguez in the race.
In June 2021, the Herald published emails showing Jose Riesco’s involvement in Artiles scheme. “In one of the email chains released by state prosecutors, Jones is looped in on a June 16 message with a PDF attachment labeled: ‘Wire Transfer Instructions.’ On that day, records show Data Targeting arranged a wire transfer of $100,000 to a nonprofit called Florida Stronger Inc. The organization’s officers include De Varona, who notarized Rodriguez’s campaign paperwork, and Jose Riesco, who served as the no-party candidate’s campaign treasurer.”
According to Frank Artiles’ arrest affidavit, Jose Riesco signed the check for the ghost candidate’s qualifying fee.
Tania Williams calls herself a “skilled advocate.” So how did she end up with a campaign treasurer involved in such shady business?
Did someone recommend Jose Riesco?
Does Tania Williams know how to use Google?
Don’t Broward residents deserve Judges who do not hire shady Miami-Dade campaign operatives?