Residents of Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor won’t have a representative in the Florida House — for now. State lawmakers voted Tuesday to throw out the results of the House District 64 election, creating a vacancy in the Tampa Bay area. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to call a special election. Lawmakers admitted that Tuesday’s vote was unusual. Although incumbent state Rep. Jamie Grant was recently declared winner of the contest, an appeals court ruled that a write-in candidate was wrongly withdrawn from the race. “There was a conflict between the 1st District Court of Appeal and the secretary of state, and we felt just based on that alone, that we would work to try to actually speed (up) the process by having a special election,” said House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island.
Grant was not in Tallahassee when the House voted but said he understood the decision.
“Had the Legislature voted to keep me, we would have been saying that it is okay to improperly deny someone the right to run,” the Tampa Republican said.
Grant, elected in 2010, was challenged this year by Republican Miriam Steinberg and write-in candidate Daniel John Matthews.