State House District 82 candidate Beverly Hires, whose candidacy closed the primary for the five Republican candidates running against her, made a contribution to one of her opponents for the political office, raising questions as to whether one of her opponents put her up to running.
Now, Hires is speaking out in defense of her actions.
“I have a right to run for political office,” said Hires. “In the past, I felt that it was not the right time to run.”
Under Florida’s elections laws, when the only candidates running for a partisan office are from the same party, then voters may cast a ballot in that particular race, regardless of party affiliation. However, if a candidate such as Hires comes in as a write-in candidate, that means the winner of the primary will have opposition in the general election, so the election becomes a closed primary.
The five Republican candidates for the office are Carl Domino, MaryLynn Magar, Jonathan Milton, Jonathan (Jon) Pasqualone, and Calvin Turnquest.
On February 10, Hires made a campaign contribution to Magar for $250. Hires defends her action, saying she was invited to the fundraising party at a time when she did not anticipate that she would run for the same office five months later.
“I wasn’t contributing to make a political statement or an endorsement, “ Hires explains. “I went to a fundraiser party, and it was expected that participants make a donation. Everybody there made a contribution.”
Hires said Magar did not attend the party, and Hires said she had never even met Magar at the time she donated to her campaign.
“What she did is legal,” said Vicki Davis, Martin County Supervisor of Elections.