Special election dates set for House District 64

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A special election for the Florida House District 64 seat is set for Feb. 10 and April 21.

Governor Rick Scott set the dates Monday in an executive order. The House rejected the result of the November 4 election over confusion triggered by a legal challenge to a write-in candidate.

Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, has represented the district and won re-election but even he questioned the integrity of the election after an appellate judge said the election was unconstitutional.

Daniel John Matthews had filed as a write-in candidate closing the GOP primary contest between Grant and Miriam Steinberg. Steinberg’s husband filed a lawsuit alleging Matthews did not live in the district.

State law requires write-in candidates to live in their districts. A circuit judge removed Matthews from the election. An appellate court reversed the decision saying the residency requirement violates the state constitution.

The ballots were prepared before the appellate court decision and the election was held without Matthews.

Voters in what is considered a Republican seat, taking in part of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, will select primary candidates Feb. 10 and, if necessary, a general election will be held April 21.