Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tracking down the candidates for the Florida senate that were seemingly enlisted solely to siphon votes from democrats

Local10 tracked down two of the candidates, who both initially lied about their identity:

Both filed as No Party Affiliated candidates, yet both had recently been registered Republicans.

Both qualified as candidate on the same day, June 12, 2020, by paying a qualifying fee.

Both listed Gmail addresses with identical patterns: first initial, last name and district number and 2020.

Both list one single contribution to their campaign; both contributions are $2000 self-loans, presumably to pay the filing fee.

Both candidates' support appears to come from the same Political Action Committee
Independent candidates with clear ties to GOP donors and operatives whose names appeared on ballots in two competitive Florida Legislature races received enough votes to swing the outcome of those contests, possibly costing Democrats those seats.

The little-known candidates running without party affiliation, known as NPAs, received more votes than the Republican candidate’s margin of victory, and if some of those ballots had been cast for their opponents, the Democrats could have won. 
... 
Often, individuals and groups looking to siphon votes away from major-party candidates look for people who represent a strategic demographic, such as a woman or someone with a Hispanic-sounding name. In a tight race determined by just a few hundred or thousand votes, that tactic can be successful and inexpensive, he said.

“It’s probably a lot cheaper to get somebody filed and on the ballot than to run a couple of radio ads or print mailers to the entire district,” he said.