Republicans accuse Democrats of dirty ‘games’ in House District 42

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Democrats have sent mailers to voters in a central Florida legislative district urging them to vote against a disgraced candidate whose name is on the ballot but who has dropped out of the race — drawing outrage from Republicans.

The mailers are part of a battle between political newcomers Eileen Game, a Democrat, and Michael LaRosa, a Republican. LaRosa was chosen as the GOP candidate after Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, dropped his re-election bid after being named in connection with a prostitution investigation. Horner hasn’t been charged with a crime.

But Horner’s name will remain on the ballot — and the new mailers, which say they are paid for by the Florida Democratic Party, play off of that potential confusion.

“Say no to Mike Horner and put an end to the embarrassment,” one mailer says.

“Times are tough, and too many Florida families are struggling,” another says. “We can’t afford any more bad headlines and scandals that distract our leaders from working to improve our schools, create jobs and strengthen Florida’s economy. When you cast your ballot, vote ‘NO’ to Mike Horner.”

The mailers do not mention LaRosa, who will receive credit for any vote cast for Horner.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry blasted Democrats in a statement issued by the party.

“The only candidates that should be discussed are Mike LaRosa and Eileen Game,” he said. “The continued, systematic pattern of deception and trickery being engaged in by the Florida Democratic Party is nothing but gutter politics and speaks to the fact the Democratic Party must feel Eileen Game is unworthy to be elected in her own right.”

A spokesman for the Democratic Party declined to comment.

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.