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Election dates set for Dan Raulerson’s House seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday set the dates for elections to fill Hillsborough County’s House District 58, recently vacated by GOP state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who stepped down for health reasons.

Scott signed an executive order setting Oct. 10 for the primary election and Dec. 19 for the general election.

Raulerson’s resignation is effective Aug. 15, meaning the seat will be empty during the committee weeks leading up to the 2018 Legislative Session, which begins Jan. 9.

Raulerson, a CPA and former Plant City mayor, has been in the House since 2012, representing the northeast Hillsborough County district. He cited serious, ongoing back problems as the reason for his leaving the office.

Vazquez (via Facebook)

An appeal still is pending from Raulerson’s Democratic challenger in the last election. 

Jose N. Vazquez Figueroa claimed Raulerson’s candidacy was invalid because his notary had incorrectly used “correction fluid” on his filing paperwork, which is prohibited by the state’s notary manual.

A Tallahassee judge ruled against him in January, agreeing with Raulerson’s lawyer that the courts couldn’t decide the case because the House of Representatives is the sole judge of its membership under the state constitution.

On Tuesday, Vazquez said in a phone interview he had not yet decided whether he will run again for the seat.

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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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