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Dwight Bullard ordered to pay fines in elections panel case

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The Florida Elections Commission Tuesday ordered state Sen. Dwight Bullard to pay $2,000 in fines for filing faulty campaign finance reports.

Bullard, a Cutler Bay Democrat, had been charged with failing to fix incomplete reports in 2013 and 2015 — even after being told how to do so, staff told commissioners.

He was given “multiple opportunities to respond” but never did, a commission lawyer said. Bullard did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.

Because Bullard knew of the problem and failed to act, he was found in “willful violation” of the law and fined $1,000 each for the two reports.

The 39-year-old schoolteacher now represents Senate District 39 and faces voters this year. Because of a recent court-ordered redistricting, he is running for South Florida’s new District 40.

His main opponents are state Rep. Frank Artiles, a Miami Republican, and Democratic challenger Andrew Korge, son of a prominent Democratic fundraiser.

Ana Rivas Logan, a former Republican turned Democrat who previously served in the House, qualified to run for the seat but has since dropped her candidacy.

Bullard succeeded his mother, Larcenia Bullard, in his current seat. She served a total of 18 years in the House and Senate before dying in 2013.

In other action, the commission ordered state Rep. Bruce Antone, an Orlando Democrat, to pay a $250 fine.

For his 2014 election, he failed to turn in five reports for periods when he neither raised nor spent money, according to reports.

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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