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'He-Man' joins crowded field of candidates to replace Artiles in special election

Christian 'He-Man' Schlaerth submits form showing he is known by nickname

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – South Florida voters are going to get a chance to pick a real "He-Man."

State election officials Tuesday agreed to let Christian "He-Man" Schlaerth qualify for a special election.

Schlaerth is joining a crowded field of candidates seeking to replace former Florida Sen. Frank Artiles, who resigned earlier this year after he used a racial slur during a conversation with two black colleagues at a Tallahassee establishment.

Artiles used a variation of the "N-word" during a conversation with Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, and Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, at the Governors Club in Tallahassee, not far from the state Capitol.

He apologized on the Senate floor, but resigned after the Florida Legislative Black Caucus and a growing number of his constituents demanded that he step down.

Artiles was elected to the seat in November. He previously served in the state House from 2010 to 2016.

The special election to fill the District 40 seat in Miami-Dade County will be held Sept. 26.

State rules allow nicknames to be placed on the ballot if it can be shown that the candidate is known by the nickname.

Schlaerth turned into state officials an affidavit that contends he did not create the nickname to "mislead voters." He also included an affidavit of a friend who said he was introduced to Schlaerth as "He-Man" last year.