Stay keeps Rebekah Jones on CD 1 ballot, for now

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The last deadline for briefs is set for Thursday at 5 p.m.

Whether or not Rebekah Jones can be on the ballot as a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District took a turn in her favor with a ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

“The final judgment, rendered the August 8, 2022, disqualifying Appellant for nomination for election to the United States House of Representatives from Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the 2022 election cycle is stayed pending further order of this Court,” the Court ruled.

In those words, they undid, however temporarily, the actions of Leon Circuit Court Judge John Cooper, who said Jones couldn’t appear on the ballot as a Democrat because she hadn’t been registered as one for a year before qualifying.

“I don’t think I can come to any conclusion other than this,” Cooper said. “Jones was not a registered member of the Democratic Party almost two months during this period.”

Jones’ Democratic Primary opponent, Peggy Schiller, sued in Leon County to remove Jones from the ballot. Schiller’s attorney, Juan-Carlos Planas, argued Jones can’t run because of a new state law requiring candidates to be a member of a party for a year ahead of qualifying as a candidate.

With the Primary approach in days instead of weeks, time is of the essence. The last deadline for briefs is set for Thursday at 5 p.m., indicating a possible ruling the Friday before the last weekend before the Primary.

Jones are Schiller are running for the opportunity to run against and defeat Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has two Primary opponents himself before taking the Republican nomination again.

Jones, a former data scientist with the Florida Department of Health, drew national attention claiming she was fired for refusing to manipulate COVID-19 data, but an Inspector General in May determined her allegations were unfounded and unsubstantiated.

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