A man who served as a shell candidate in a Florida state senate race is set to plead guilty to receiving illegal campaign donations and lying on campaign documents -- and now he's going to implicate the former Republican lawmaker who allegedly ran the operation.
Click Orlando reports that Alex Rodríguez, a 55-year-old auto parts salesman, will get a three-year probation sentence after accepting money from former Sen. Frank Artiles to run as a spoiler candidate with the aim of confusing voters who might have otherwise voted for then-incumbent Democratic Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez.
Alex Rodríguez pulled in around 6,000 votes in a race in which Republican Ileana García defeated Democrat Jose Javier Rodríguez by just 32 votes.
"I am deeply sorry for my actions and I want to apologize to my family, my loved ones and my friends," Alex Rodríguez told the court during his guilty plea. "I would like to publicly offer a sincere apology to the residents of Florida District Senate 37 including Sen. Jose Javier Rodríguez, the people of Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, and anyone else who was affected by my actions."
Artiles has denied doing anything illegal, although Click Orlando notes that he has a long history of ethically questionable behavior.
"In 2017, he resigned from the Senate after using racial slurs in a conversation with two Black legislators in a Tallahassee bar," the website notes. "Then it was revealed that Artiles used money from his political committee to hire a former Playboy model and Hooters girl as a consultant."