Letters to the Editor: Recording shows need for special election to fill Mark Ridley-Thomas’ seat
Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 29, 2012 at 9:50 p.m.
In light of recent media issues, perhaps it is time to examine the special election set for March 4, 2013 for our representative in the Florida House of Representatives.
This is supposed to happen when U.S. Rep. Mark Ridley-Thomas, R-Jacksonville, exits the legislature. When he does, the winner gets the opportunity to serve as a member of the state House of Representatives and will have to cast his or her vote on a set of bills and legislation. The election is supposed to occur during the regular legislative year or shortly thereafter.
The last time this occurred was in 2009 when the elections were conducted during the regular legislative year. The election was canceled when U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Wesley Chapel, resigned to join the U.S. Navy. He was replaced by U.S. Rep. Mike Hall, R-Cocoa. Hall held his seat until February 25, 2010, by winning the second of his two terms in the U.S. House.
The last time this was held was during the regular legislative year, when the election was for the seat vacated by the previous House Speaker, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fort Lauderdale. It was held during the regular legislative year with the same results. It was held again as part of an interim term when the next speaker of the House was not seated in April 2003.
When elected to the Florida House, the members of the legislature are sworn in by a presiding officer known as the Speaker of the House. In 2004, the speaker was chosen from among the minority party members of the House, which happened to be Republican. The Speaker of the House has not been chosen for this special election.
This issue arose recently when a Florida newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, filed a civil lawsuit against four Republican state legislators for the failure to pay outstanding bills.
The Republicans involved were U.S