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Plaintiff misses hearing in ‘Wite-Out’ case against Dan Raulerson

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s always a bad sign when a plaintiff doesn’t show up for a hearing in his own lawsuit.

Jose N. Vazquez Figueroa was supposed to be in the Leon County Courthouse Wednesday morning to explain why he should win his suit against state Rep. Dan Raulerson.

Vazquez, who is representing himself, is seeking to disqualify Raulerson, a Plant City Republican, from his re-election this year to his House District 58 seat. Vazquez was his unsuccessful Democratic opponent.

His suit says Raulerson’s notary had incorrectly used “correction fluid” on his filing paperwork. The state’s notary manual says no correction fluid of any kind is allowed on notarized documents.

Specifically, Vazquez has said Raulerson’s notary “improperly completed” his paperwork by whiting out the date on her notarization of his financial disclosure, changing it from an April to a June date.

His request for a “judgment on the pleadings” was scheduled to be heard at 9:30 a.m. When Vazquez didn’t show by 9:45, Circuit Judge Charles W. Dodson had had enough.

Dodson said he would he would deny the motion, and asked Raulerson’s attorney to notice a hearing for his motion to dismiss the case.

Vazquez sued Raulerson, a CPA first elected to the House in 2012, as well as Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer; Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state’s chief elections officer; and Kristi Reid Bronson, records bureau chief for the Division of Elections.

He blamed all of them for not catching the error and allowing Raulerson to run in the first place.

Vazquez couldn’t be reached by phone.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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