Irma doesn't turn off lights in SD 40 special election – Florida Politics (blog)
A heated contest for an open Senate seat in Miami just got hotter — literally.
With power knocked out in large parts of Miami-Dade County, Florida Democrats have asked Gov. Rick Scott to postpone the Sept. 26 special election in Senate District 40. Early voting in the runoff between Democrat Annette Taddeo and Republican former state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz begins Saturday.
Scott set the special election after former Sen. Frank Artiles resigned earlier this year after a racially tinged outburst at a private club near the Capitol.
The southern portions of Miami-Dade County, including the Senate district, “are among the hardest hit parts of our state with a great percentage of our homes without power,” Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel wrote to Scott on Wednesday.
Bittel asked Scott to delay the election for two weeks.
“Amidst this backdrop of personal and property loss, opening early voting polls for the Senate District 40 special elections would be inappropriate. Our community is focused on rebuilding and recovery, not voting,” he wrote.
So far, “there are no changes” for the Sept. 26 election, and early voting is still on at three public libraries, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, according to Suzy Trutie, a deputy supervisor of elections for the county.
“All three early voting sites have power,” Trutie said in an email Thursday.
J.C. Planas, a lawyer representing Diaz’s campaign, scoffed at the idea of postponing the election. Planas, whose home was without electricity this week, said he’s been in contact with elections officials — and visited the early voting sites — and “everything is ready to roll.”
Switching the election dates “would cause chaos,” Planas said.
“Everything’s fine. Everything’s working. There’s no reason not to start early voting this weekend,” he said.
Planas pointed out that Florida Power & Light