According to a 10 News investigation into voting records of Florida legislators and top elected officials, a handful of Republicans did not vote in January’s Presidential Preference Primary (PPP).
Those from Tampa Bay include:
- Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring
- Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland
- Rep. Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland
- Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Sarasota
- Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness
The reasons for not voting do not appear to be singular. For instance, Senator Nancy Deter has been campaigning for Mitt Romney said that she had a busy schedule in Tallahassee that kept her from voting.
Detert said, “It was certainly an aberration, and maybe the only election I’ve missed in 25 years.”
10 News reports that a public records request to the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections showed Detert had voted in every other major election the past five years.
Representative Denise Grimsley’s aide commented that Grimsley didn’t vote in the PPP because she simply had no preference among GOP contenders and didn’t feel comfortable casting a ballot. The representative said that she plans to vote in November for the GOP nominee.
Records show that Grimsley also had voted in both the primary and general elections of 2008 and 2010.
Representative Kelli Stargel and Senator Chalie Dean also missed their first election in years, and neither commented after multiple calls to their offices, reported 10 News.
According to 10 News, an aide for McKeel said the representative had indeed cast a ballot by mail, but the ballot was returned because of a “postal error” he didn’t care to look into; presumably for not enough postage.
10 News also reached out to the following legislators from around the state who didn’t register votes in the PPP:
- Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda
- Rep. George Moraitis Jr., R-Fort Lauderdale
- Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City
- Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Hialeah
- Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami
- Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka
No other representatives responded to requests for comment, reported 10 News.
Representative Carlos Trujillo, who endorsed Tim Pawlenty before endorsing Herman Cain before he was named to Newt Gingrich’s Florida leadership team, was recorded as having mailed in a ballot but not in time to be counted on January 31.
Representative Charles Van Zant mailed his ballot in to the Bradford Co. Supervisor of Elections’ office but it wasn’t counted because Van Zant forgot to sign it.