FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Their names aren't even on the ballot and they have no chance to win, but some write-in candidates who pay no fee to jump into races are causing controversy in South Florida.
Local 10's Bob Norman interviewed Ronald Bray, a write-in candidate for a northwest Broward County state House race who readily admits that he has no chance in the election and that he's actually supporting "opponent" Kristin Jacobs, the county commissioner who is running in the race against fellow Democrat Steve Perman.
No write-in candidate has ever won in Florida and Bray concedes that only his friends will vote for him, but his presence in the race closes the Aug. 26 Democratic primary to Republican and independent voters in the Democrat-dominated district.
That will not only take away a chance to meaningfully vote for the candidate-less Republicans and independents in the district, but it also stands to politically benefit Jacobs, who has more Democratic bona fides and is more apt to appeal to a liberal base than her opponent Perman.
Bray, a former campaign volunteer for Jacobs, said those are the precise reasons he chose to run -- to close the primary and benefit Jacobs.
Jacobs said she spoke with Bray about it and supports his write-in candidacy because it's allowed under the Constitution, and Bray believes only Democrats should vote in the Democratic primary. But she said she didn't put Bray up to put his hat in the ring.
One problem with Bray's run: As first reported by the Daily Broward site, Bray doesn't live in District 96 where's he's a candidate -- he lives to the east, in Pompano Beach.
The law mandates that write-ins live in the district in which they are running at the time of qualifying -- and a lawsuit has already been filed to challenge Bray's standing in the race.