Doh! Hagan’s Hillsborough Commission seat will be elected after all

Okay. I goofed. Y’all read it. I proclaimed Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan’s to-be-vacated seat would be appointed. Allow me to clean the egg off my face.

You see, I was going on the literal reading of the Florida Constitution … but I knew the entire case hinged on the definition of “vacancy.” My first post on the subject even said as much: The rub is, when does the “vacancy” actually exist?

I must thank Bill Varian at the St. Petersburg Times for setting me straight: the position will not actually BE vacant.

You see, since Hagan will resign, effective on election day, before qualifying — giving a chance for potential successors to qualify, and thus his successor would take over on election day— there is no need for the governor to get involved. (Varian also provided information I did not find during my first, limited research: a Division of Elections opinion on Florida’s resign to run law.)

The long and short is: if Hagan follows through with what is widely expected, then his commission seat will be filled by a special election in 2010.

Yes, I was wrong. This is a great example of how bloggers cannot take the place of journalists.

Cross posted on Political Whore.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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