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Qualifying Starts For Frank Artiles Senate Seat

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) -- An abbreviated qualifying period started Tuesday morning for a special election to replace Miami Republican Frank Artiles in a South Florida Senate district.

Five candidates, including three Democrats, had qualified as of 10:30 a.m., according to information posted on the state Division of Elections website.

They included former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, D-Miami, and Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat who was her party's unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor in 2014.

Others who quickly qualified Tuesday were Democrat Steve Smith, Republican Lorenzo Palomares and no-party candidate Christian "He-Man" Schlaerth.

Miami-Dade Republican Jose Felix Diaz, who left his House seat to run in the special election, and former Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, also have opened campaign accounts to seek the Senate seat. They and other candidates have until a noon Wednesday deadline to formally qualify for the Senate District 40 race.

The special primary election will be held July 25, while the special general election will be Sept 26.

Artiles, who was elected to the Senate in 2016, resigned in April after a vulgar tirade at a private club in Tallahassee.

"The News Service of Florida contributed to this report."

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