In House District 58, another Democratic candidate’s about to drop out of race before election

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Jose Vazquez, the Democratic state House District 58 candidate who has voiced plans to quit the race, said Tuesday he awaits word from the party’s headquarters.

The 38-year-old Brandon man, whose Republican opponent is Plant City Commissioner Dan Raulerson, said withdrawal hinges on the party’s response to his inquiry about whether it plans to replace him on the ticket.

“If they give me a guarantee the party won’t fill the seat, I’ll step out,” Vazquez said in a telephone interview. Because the Hillsborough County Democratic Party never recruited a candidate for the seat, it has no right to fill it, he said.

In a statement addressing withdrawal of its support, the party said it did not recruit Vazquez as a candidate, “hence, we are unable to speak with confidence regarding his motivations for running — or from withdrawing — from the race.” No other Democrats filed for the eastern Hillsborough County district race.

Three years ago, Jose Vazquez qualified as a write-in candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives that includes parts of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

In papers then filed with the state, Vazquez listed his address as a prison facility near Lake Okeechobee, where he was serving time on a felony conviction for driving with a revoked or suspended license in May 2007, reported Janet Zink. He was released in early 2009.

Material from the Tampa Tribune was used in this post.

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