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State House candidate fails to qualify because of 1 cent discrepancy on qualifying check

in Statewide by

Adam Smith points out a must-read cautionary tale about how state Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, was spared a tough primary, because her rival Neil Combee wrote a check to the state for  $1,781.81 – instead of the requiring filing fee of $1,781.82.  According to the Lakeland Ledger:

Stargel had mailed her papers and check to qualify days ago, noting that it was her practice so as to have time to correct any mistakes. Combee mailed his check Wednesday afternoon.

“I called during the day to ask why my name wasn’t listed as qualified and they shot back that they were busy and to watch the Internet,” he said. “I had my cell phone on all day and it could have been easily taken care of, but maybe they were happy to run out the time.”

Combee said he will appeal his removal Monday.

The irony, he said, was that he had always conducted every aspect of his past campaigns, but he agreed to family and friends’ advice that he hire a professional treasurer, Jacquelyn Schall of Tallahassee, who made out the check for the filing fee.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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