Raquel Regalado files lawsuit seeking to disqualify Carlos Gimenez in mayor's race

Challenger claims Gimenez should be disqualifed because of payment mishap

MIAMI – A candidate for Miami-Dade County mayor has filed a lawsuit against the incumbent seeking to disqualify him from the Nov. 8 election.

Raquel Regalado is running to unseat Mayor Carlos Gimenez in next month's election. Neither candidate received enough votes in August, which sent the race to a runoff.

The lawsuit claims the Miami-Dade County Elections Department received a qualifying check for $1,800 dated June 10, 2015, that was rejected by the bank. The lawsuit claims that, under Florida statute, any candidate whose check is invalidated has until the end of the qualifying period to pay with a cashier's check, and failure to pay the fee by that time should result in disqualification.

Because Gimenez didn't pay the qualification fee with a cashier's check, the lawsuit claims Gimenez should be disqualified as a candidate.

Records show that Gimenez submitted a second campaign check at 10:21 p.m. June 20, 2016, one day before the qualifying deadline.

"While we have not seen the actual lawsuit yet, the allegations in Ms. Regalado's press release are without merit and, frankly, bizarre," Gimenez spokeswoman Gabriela Castillo Madrid said in a statement. "A valid qualifying check was presented to the elections department before the end of the qualifying period and was cleared by the bank for payment. Nothing else is required by law. Mayor Gimenez, as the first-place finisher in the primary election, is obviously a properly qualified candidate in this runoff. Ms. Regalado's desperate campaign is once again resorting to frivolous tactics to try and thwart the will of the voters of Miami-Dade County." 

Regalado is the daughter of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. She resigned her seat on the Miami-Dade County school board to run against Gimenez, who was first elected mayor in 2011.

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