Rep. David Richardson wins re-election to HD 113 after GOP challenger bounces qualifying check

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State Representative David Richardson won re-election on Tuesday after the Florida Division of Elections disqualified his Republican opponent, Laura Levey, because her qualifying check was returned for insufficient funds.

“I just got a call from the Florida Dept. of Elections and was notified that my Republican opponent’s check covering the election filing fee has ‘bounced,’ ” Richardson wrote on his Facebook page. “She has been disqualified and as of today I AM THE OFFICIAL UNCHALLENGED WINNER in my re-election to the Florida House of Representatives District 113.”

“You just can’t make this stuff up,” said Richardson.

Legislative candidates may qualify to have their names placed on the ballot by gathering enough signed petitions from registered voters residing in their district or by paying the fee of $1,781.82.

Levey’s name is currently listed on the Withdrawn/Did Not Qualify section of the Division of Elections’ website.

Without anothercandidate in the race, the 57-year-old Richardson will return for a second term in Tallahassee representing parts of Miami Beach, downtown Miami, and Little Havana.

Richardson, the first openly gay member of the Florida House, learned of the Division of Elections’ decision while attending an LGBT event at The White House.

Beyond the comments on Facebook — where Richardson just couldn’t help but share his excitement — Richardson issued an official statement.

“I am humbled and honored to have won re-election for district 113. I was surprised by the late entry in my race a few weeks ago, but energized to earn my re-election,” said Richardson. “So many friends called to offer their help and support. I will continue to represent Florida in a way that demonstrates I serve only at the pleasure of my district constituents.”

Richardson, a longtime Miami Beach resident who had never before run for office, ran in 2012 by touting his past work as a Pentagon auditor “identifying fraud and waste in government contracts.” Richardson earned an MBA at night while working for the Department of Defense, became a CPA, and eventually opened up his own small business advising clients on accounting and finance issues related to government contracts.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.