House District 106 candidate Joe Saunders files lawsuit alleging ‘ghost candidate’ tactics by opponent

by | Jun 25, 2024

Joe Saunders, a candidate for House District 106 in northeast Miami-Dade County, filed a lawsuit against Maureen Saunders Scott, accusing her of being a “ghost candidate” using the nickname “Moe Saunders” to confuse voters and misrepresenting her residency to qualify for the election.

The campaign of Joe Saunders, a candidate for House District 106 in northeast Miami-Dade County, filed a lawsuit against Maureen Saunders Scott on Tuesday, alleging she is a “ghost candidate” intended to siphon votes in the upcoming election.

The lawsuit, lodged in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, accuses Saunders Scott of using the nickname “Moe Saunders” on the ballot to confuse voters and claims she misrepresented her residency. The filinf further contends that Saunders Scott is a registered voter in St. Johns County, which is more than 300 miles away from the district she aims to represent and falsely declared her domicile in Miami-Dade County to meet candidacy requirements.

“This is a clear violation of Florida law, and the facts speak for themselves: Maureen Saunders Scott is attempting to deceive, mislead and confuse voters supporting Joe Saunders by using a false nickname on the ballot,” said attorney Kendall Coffey, Esq., counsel for the Saunders campaign. “She has not acted in good faith or with honest purpose, and has therefore failed to properly qualify as a candidate. In defense of our democracy, this kind of conduct must not be allowed and ‘Moe Saunders’ must not appear on the ballot in November.”

The lawsuit seeks an expedited judicial review to prevent Saunders Scott from appearing on the ballot ahead of the primary elections on Aug. 20 and the general elections on Nov. 5.

“The voters of our community deserve to have trust in our elections and accountability in our democratic process,” said Joe Saunders. “I am running to represent HD 106 in the Florida House to solve local issues for local people – and despite the shameless, fraudulent tactics at play which violate both the letter and the spirit of the law, my focus remains on earning every vote so that I can fight for our community’s needs in Tallahassee.”

Florida Politics’ Jesse Scheckner reported earlier this month that Saunders Scott, the aunt of Joe Saunders, is reportedly running against him in House District 106 to undermine his campaign, according to sources. The publication also reported that she has publicly accused Joe Saunders on social media of being complicit in covering up her alleged sexual assault by a family member and further claims that he supported his father’s persecution of her and her daughter.

“She is, in fact, his aunt. And she’s accused him on X of trying to cover up the “repeated sadistic sexual assault” she said she suffered from her uncle and for supporting his father in persecuting her and her daughter,” Scheckner reported.

Saunders, a former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, served from 2012 to 2014 representing the 49th District, which includes parts of Orange County. Before his tenure in the House, he worked with Equality Florida.


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