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Michael Steinberg signs on to Jose Vazquez Figueroa’s campaign

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Michael Steinberg, a Tampa lawyer and former Democratic political candidate, says he’s volunteered to be campaign treasurer for Jose Vazquez Figueroa, the Democrat running in the House District 58 special election.

“I support him because I know he’ll support all the Democratic Party’s issues,” Steinberg tells SaintPetersblog. “I also know how hard it is as a candidate and want him to be on top of all the paperwork.”

Steinberg—who specializes in Social Security disability claims—has run unsuccessfully for the state Legislature, including for current GOP Rep. Jamie Grant‘s House seat, and was the Reform Party’s vice presidential candidate for the 2016 election. 

His wife Miriam, as a Republican, also unsuccessfully challenged Grant three years ago.

That led to a months-long court saga over a write-in’s candidacy and Grant’s eventual 2014 election being rejected by the House of Representatives. Grant finally retook his seat in an April 2015 special election. 

Vazquez, a frequent candidate, is running to replace Rep. Dan Raulerson, who resigned this month because of health problems. 

Vazquez ran and lost last year to Raulerson and later sued, claiming the Plant City Republican’s 2016 candidacy was invalid because his notary had incorrectly used “correction fluid” on his filing paperwork, which is prohibited by the state’s notary manual.

Vazquez lost in circuit court in Tallahassee, and now has an appeal pending in the 1st District Court of Appeal.

Gov. Rick Scott has signed an executive order setting Oct. 10 for the seat’s primary and Dec. 19 for the general election.

As of last week, Republicans Lawrence McClure and Yvonne Marie Fry have filed for the special election, as has Libertarian Party of Florida candidate Bryan Richard Zemina, Division of Elections records show.

Records also show Vazquez filed to run in 2018 for House District 62, now held by term-limited House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz. Win or lose this year, “I’ll move to (Cruz’s) district” next year, he previously explained.

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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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