Florida Republicans are refusing to allow a Democratic state representative take his seat until the current legislative session is nearly over.
Daryl Campbell was elected to the Florida House on Jan. 11, but the secretary of state appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis won't send a letter certifying his election until at least March 8 -- which is three days before the annual legislative session ends, reported the Sun-Sentinel.
“I remain hopeful," Campbell told the newspaper. "Am I surprised? I am not. It’s just unfortunate that our constituents … now are being faced with a situation where their voice does not get heard.”
Campbell went to Tallahassee to learn his way around and hoped to be sworn in next week, when the full House of Representatives meets, but secretary of state Laurel Lee won't send a letter to the legislature declaring him the winner of the universal primary election until March 8, which would have been the date of a general election that ultimately was not needed because only Democrats came forward to run for the seat.
“As a courtesy, we will send a letter to the House and the Senate listing the winners of the elections, but not until after the general election,” said Lee's communications director Mallory Morgan. “Ultimately, it is up to the Legislature to decide who has been elected and when to seat those members."
The state Constitution does make the House of Representatives the “sole judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members,” so that allows House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Republican, to make the final determination when Campbell might be seated, and GOP leadership has made clear that wouldn't happen until he's certified the winner.
“The secretary of state has one job in this instance, and that’s certifying the election," said House Democratic leader Evan Jenne. "If anything, they’ve stopped all the parts from moving. They’ve completely put us on some sort of list of ‘do not respond.' I can’t get any answers."
Jenne said he walked to the secretary of state's office to get some answers, but he waited nearly four hours without a meeting.
“No one has called or showed up,” Jenne said. “They’re not responding to anyone. Neither myself as minority [party] leader or, more importantly, no one is responding to Representative-elect Campbell and his ability to represent 170,000 people in Broward County has been nullified.”
Florida Republicans effectively 'nullified' Black state rep's election by refusing to send certifica www.youtube.com