Florida: Judge’s ruling nullifies landslide vote for nonpartisan elections | Orlando Sentinel

Orange County candidates for sheriff, tax collector and the four other constitutional offices would be identified on this year’s ballot as Democrat, Republican or another party affiliation if a judge’s ruling holds. A 2014 ballot measure that earned 71 percent of the vote had changed those contests to nonpartisan races in which a candidate’s party affiliation is not provided on the ballot. But Circuit Judge Keith White, in an oral ruling on Thursday, said the county had no authority to determine how its constitutional officers are elected. That power is preempted by state election code. His decision was viewed as a win by Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Sheriff Jerry Demings, and Tax Collector Scott Randolph, who had sued to nullify the ballot measure, saying it had misled and confused voters and was motivated by Republican politicians.