Florida Dem Faces Felony Investigation For Allegedly Campaigning At Polls: Report

Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor is now reportedly under police investigation following her campaign stop at an early voting location last week with members of the media in tow.

Last week, Castor was recorded on video appearing to violate the 150-foot “exclusion zone” that forbids political candidates from campaigning or electioneering at polling, according to official incident reports reviewed by her opponent’s political campaign.

News reports published after the incident reveal that Castor visited a Tampa-area library being used for early voting with multiple members of the media, and recorded brief video interviews with members of the media outside, potentially violating the 150-foot exclusion zone.

Then, according to the Judge campaign, Castor clandestinely shepherded media inside the early voting location using one of the building’s exit-only doors and attempted to continue her campaign-style press event before being unceremoniously kicked out by an election official.

The Judge campaign has now posted video to social media that shows Castor outside the early voting location.

Now, Castor is reportedly being investigated by the Tampa Police Department for her campaign-style stop at the early voting location.

“I believe if these allegations are accurate, this ought to be a relatively open-and-shut case,” said Judge in a statement. “It’s not every day that a criminal hosts a news conference about a crime they just reportedly committed.”

Judge continued, “According to Kathy Castor herself when she was speaking to news outlets on-camera in front of the place she reportedly broke the law, she actually says that the very reason she was present at Platt Library that day was to coerce people to vote.”

In its press release, the Judge campaign referenced Florida Statute 104.0615, which makes it a felony in the third degree for elected officials and politicians to visit polling places to “coerce or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting,” and to “coerce or intimidate or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting for a particular individual.”

Valiant News contacted the Tampa Police Department to confirm its investigation into Castor, and to ask whether voters can expect an update on the investigation before the November 8 election and whether Castor is aware she is being investigated. We did not receive an immediate response.

Voters in FL-14 will choose between Rep. Kathy Castor and businessman James Judge on November 8.

This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant News.


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