Another candidate qualification complaint lands in HB

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Kimball Rash

There’s more pushback in Holmes Beach over city commission candidate Kimball Rash’s qualification mishap.

“Giving one candidate a ‘pass’ is a knock on the system, the start of the slippery slope, the ‘wink and a nod,’ the back-room old boys system that Florida is known for,” stated Andy Sheridan in a letter sent July 17 to city clerk Stacey Johnston and Mayor Bob Johnson.

Johnston, serving as the Holmes Beach election official, ruled July 9 an error in campaign depository paperwork by Rash did not rise to the level of disqualification.

She said her decision came after consulting with the Florida Department of State Division of Elections and city attorney Patricia Petruff.

Election laws are set by state statute, not by the city.

Candidates are required to declare a depository for campaign funds while establishing candidacies. They must pay the initial filing fee and submit required candidate forms with a check from the declared depository.

Rash named Hancock Bank as his depository June 4, but the check written for his candidate filing fee was drawn on a Wells Fargo campaign account.

“I know that when as an appointed member of COHB government I pledged an oath, probably the same one you stood in the mayor’s office and took as well,” Sheridan stated.

Sheridan serves on the city’s code enforcement board.

He said he has not escalated the complaint to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections, but he hoped his letter would encourage Johnston to handle it differently.