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HD 70 candidate Manuel Sykes fails to sign disclosure form — doesn’t make it on the ballot

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pastor Manuel Sykes announced recently that he was a candidate in the House District 70 race that covers parts of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties, with the vast majority of the district’s voters living in Pinellas. It leans strongly Democratic in its makeup.

However, Sykes did not qualify for the ballot at the end of the day on Friday, the deadline for all candidates to be eligible for the November ballot.

Although a call to the state’s Division of Elections website did not get an immediate response, has viewed that on the Public Disclosure form required to be filled out, Sykes neglected to sign his name to it. was unable to contact Sykes on Monday afternoon, but the former NAACP head in St. Petersburg told the Tampa Bay Times that he mailed his qualifying check to the Divisions of Election on Thursday, and knows that someone signed for it on Friday.

However, on page two of the form, where the candidate must sign under oath that all of the information on the disclosure form is accurate, it is left blank.

Democrats Wengay Newton, C.J. Czaia and Dan Florini did make the ballot, as did Republican Cori Fournier. 

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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