Congressional Candidate Sues Florida Over Election Law

(CN) – A city commissioner in Miami Beach who has entered the race for Congress sued the state of Florida Tuesday claiming a new law would force her to resign her current position to continue her congressional bid.

In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade County, plaintiff Kristen Rosen Gonzalez says that she filed her paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run in Florida’s 27th Congressional District in April 2017.

But on March 30 of this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 186 in to law, requiring candidates for federal office who currently hold a state, county or municipal office to “resign from the office he or she presently holds if the terms, or any part thereof, run concurrently with each other.”

Gonzalez, who is represented by Kent Harrison Robbins in Miami, says she is entitled to occupy her office as city commissioner until her term ends in November 2019.

However, the Senate Bill 186 states that such resignation is “irrevocable,” and that every candidate is required to submit his or her resignation at least 10 days before the first day of qualifying for the office that he or she is running for.

“The law provides that an elected officer is required to submit his or her resignation letter to the officer before whom he or she qualified for the office he or she holds, with a copy to the Governor and the Department of State,” the complaint says.

The complaint claims that before Florida adopted the law candidates running for a federal office who also held an elected office with the government were not required to resign.

Gonzalez says that the application of the law to an office holder who was elected before the bill was passed violates his or her rights under the Due Process and Clause of the Florida Constitution.

She is seeking a declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin the State of Florida, Governor Scott and other government officials from enforcing a retrospective application of the law in Florida.

The Office of the Secretary in the State of Florida and the Office of the City Clerk in Miami Beach failed to respond to email and phone requests for comment on the lawsuit.

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