LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A local man is planning to file a lawsuit against the state on Tuesday, claiming the divison of elections was negligent in handling his paperwork as a candidate. For that reason, Democrat Larry Aguilar did not qualify.
"They made an error, and they should fix that mistake. Instead, they sweep it away, they say, there was no crime, just keep walking," says Aguilar. "My name should be on the ballot for state representative in district 79."
That area includes a lot of Lehigh Acres and parts of North Fort Myers.
Aguilar has proof that he sent his qualifying papers by certified mail on Tuesday, June 17 to Tallahassee. The post office there sorted and processed his material at 8:44 a.m. on Thursday, June 19. The deadline for the elections office to get the material in hand was close of business on Friday, June 20. The office says it made two attempts to pick up mail on that Friday, and did not get Aguilar's package. Thus, his name could not be put on the ballot.
Aguilar says he has called the mailroom at the elections office, and was told there was no mail pick-up at all on tht Friday in question.
He plans to file a lawsuit in Fort Myers on Tuesday to try to prove that his material should have been picked up by the electons people in time to qualify.
Aguilar has been planning his run for state representative for nearly one year. The current reprsentative is Matt Caldwell, who is running for re-election.
Aguilar is 57 years old, and a former manager with the U.S. Federal Reserve in Miami.