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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Florida attorney general candidate files lawsuit to remove Democratic primary opponent

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 1:07 PM

  • Photo via seanmichaelshaw/Facebook
On Tuesday, attorney general candidate and state Rep. Sean Shaw filed a lawsuit in Leon Circuit Court against the state's Division of Elections, Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Democratic primary opponent Ryan Torrens, claiming that Torrens "failed to properly qualify" due to an "illegal campaign contribution."

According to the lawsuit, Torrens, an Odessa-based lawyer, accepted a $4,000 campaign contribution from Francesca Yabraian. Per Florida law, candidates running for statewide office may not accept donations that exceed $3,000.

  • Screen grab via Leon Circuit Court

"Our campaign was recently made aware of potentially disqualifying campaign violations by our primary challenger – and so we have asked for a judge to rule," Shaw campaign spokesman Michael Hopkins says in a email. "With Donald Trump in the White House, there has never been a more important attorney general election in our state's history. There is too much at stake to risk anything."

Via Twitter, Torrens responded by calling it a "sham lawsuit."

"This is a desperate attempt by my corporate-backed challenger to win this election through frivolous litigation now that he realizes that our message of standing up to #BigCorporate interests is resonating all over the state," Torrens writes in a series of posts. "We look forward to aggressively defending our campaign in the circuit court and are confident that we will prevail on the merits of this case."

The complaint comes as vote-by-mail ballots for the Aug. 28 primary are on their way to voters. Overseas military members were sent ballots on July 14.

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