Fullwood misses candidate qualifying deadline

The weeklong qualifying period for Florida candidates in this year’s races ended with a surprise when Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, missed the deadline due to a notary public’s error.

State candidates were required to qualify by noon Friday for the 2014 races, with the primaries scheduled for Aug. 26 and the general election set for Nov. 4.

Fullwood was running unopposed in House District 13, which means a new special qualifying period for the Duval County seat will be set by the state Division of Elections.

“It’s an honest mistake,” Fullwood said. “I’m fortunate no one else was running.”

Actually, Fullwood said, two notaries made errors with his paperwork. He filed most of his documents on Thursday, including a check for his qualifying fee of $1,781.82. But the first notary had made an error on his financial disclosure form.

Fullwood said the Florida Democratic Party arranged for a second notary to redo the form and take it to the Division of Elections office, but she failed to check a required box at the bottom. By the time Fullwood learned of the error, he was back in Jacksonville with ten minutes to go before the deadline.

“I could have gotten my documents in earlier,” he said. “We’ll get it right this time — we’ll literally make sure the boxes are checked.”

Meanwhile, the best-known gubernatorial candidates qualified early, including Republican Gov. Rick Scott, former Gov. Charlie Crist and former Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, who will face Crist in the Democratic primary.

Also qualifying for the governor’s race were Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie of Palm Harbor and two Republican challengers for Scott: Yinka Abosede Adeshina of Tallahassee and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder of Sarasota — although questionable information about Adeshina?s contributions have drawn scrutiny from media organizations.

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