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Former Tom Feeney accuser becomes second Dem to file in HD 47 race

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A Democrat who accused former U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney of election rigging has filed to run for the Florida House District 47 seat against incumbent Winter Garden Republican Mike Miller.

Clint Curtis filed for the seat Monday, making him the second Democrat to enter the race after Henry Lim filed in early August.

Curtis is best known for a series of allegations against Feeney in the mid-2000s, including a statement that Feeney hired him to write software to rig touch-screen voting machines in Palm Beach County for the 2000 election.

Feeney said he had never met Curtis before and denied the vote- rigging allegations, noting that Palm Beach County didn’t use touch-screen voting machines until after that election. Curtis ended up running for Congress against Feeney in 2006, but lost on Election Day by 16 points.

Curtis ran for the seat in other cycles, but never made it through the Democratic primary.

Since his congressional campaign, Curtis got a law degree from Barry University but tested to receive his license to practice law in New York rather than Florida. While he runs his own law firm in Orlando, another attorney who is a member for the Florida Bar Association supervises all of his cases.

With a nearly dead-even voter registration split, District 47 is sure to be one of the most contested seats in the House. Miller knocked incumbent Democrat Linda Stewart out of the seat last year with 52 percent of the vote and the seat could easily flip back in 2016.

Miller has a decent fundraising lead, with about $43,000 on-hand as of the end of August, though he didn’t have any competition until last month. Lim was able to raise $12,650 in his first four weeks on the campaign trail – a total Miller hasn’t gotten close to since February.

Curtis’ entry will likely give Miller some breathing room, though, since the two Democrats will have to duke it out for their party’s nomination before taking on the first-term Republican next fall.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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