Look out, Texas: Floriduh is nipping at your heels:
Prepare yourselves for shock, Gentle Readers: he was a REPUBLICAN!
Former Florida state Senator Frank Artiles surrendered to police Thursday, just a day after a search warrant at his house, the Miami Herald reports. Arrest documents reveal that the Republican politician paid a man nearly $45,000 to run as a sham candidate in District 37’s Senate race, in the hopes of “siphoning votes” from the Democratic incumbent. The man, Alex Rodriguez, was pinpointed for suspicious behavior during the race, registering as a Republican just days before he filed to run as an independent, and listing a false address on his sworn candidate oath. In a move likely intended to confuse voters, Rodriguez had the same surname as the incumbent, who went on to lose by just 32 votes.
I’ve often wondered if 3rd party candidates were recruited by Republicans to run, but this seems even more blatant: paid, changed name to match the incumbent, and changed party registration days before filing.
Recruiting or running as a ghost candidate isn’t illegal in Florida, but paying them to run is.