It has been a tough few months for Rebekah Jones. Back in May the the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Inspector General issued a report which found “insufficient evidence” to support Jones’ claims that she was asked to falsify COVID data on the state’s dashboard.
Jones has been trying to run for office in Florida’s 1st congressional district. Her goal was to win the Democratic primary and then challenge Rep. Matt Gaetz for the seat. Unfortunately it looks like that may not happen now. Jones’ opponent in the primary, Peggy Schiller, sued her alleging she wasn’t eligible to run under a Florida law which requires candidates to have been a part of the Party they seek to represent for at least a full year.
Schiller’s lawsuit alleged that while living in Maryland in 2021, Jones registered to vote in the state in April 2021 as a Democrat. She then changed her party affiliation to “unaffiliated” on June 11, 2021.
The documents show Jones changed her affiliation back to Democratic on Aug. 11, which would mean Jones missed the registration requirement by about two months.
Today a judge ruled that Jones was not eligible.
A judge ruled Friday afternoon that Florida District 1 candidate Rebekah Jones is not qualified to run in the 2022 election…
Much of attorneys’ arguments revolved around a document saying Jones was registered as ‘unaffiliated’ in Maryland. Everyone agreed it’s a legitimate document.
Jones testified she did not file the document, saying someone else changed it.
When she says someone else, Jones means an unidentified hacker. She and Joy Reid should get together and talk about being hacked by mysterious strangers. The judge ultimately didn’t buy it, in part because Jones had initially filed to run as an Independent and then changed her mind. Those events seemed to match up with the dates of her party affiliation changes:
Jones filed to run for Congress with the Federal Elections Commission on June 25, 2021, as an independent candidate. She changed her candidacy to the Democratic Party with the FEC on Aug. 12, 2021, a day after Jones’ voter registration in Maryland was changed back to Democratic.
Jones apparently wasn’t happy about the judge’s ruling and interrupted him to claim that she had proof she’d been hacked. The judge didn’t care for the interruption and kicked her off the Zoom call:
“I don’t think I can come to any conclusion other than Ms. Jones was not a registered member of the Democratic Party for almost two months during this (crucial) period,” Cooper said.
As Cooper was explaining his ruling, Jones interrupted him by saying she could provide documents proving she was hacked. The judge immediately kicked her out of the Zoom hearing, saying he didn’t allow anyone to speak during a ruling, particularly a party in the case.
When the judge later let her return to the call, she apologized and claimed she hadn’t realized her microphone wasn’t muted.
Personally, I don’t believe anything she says and I definitely don’t believe her voter registration was hacked. Rebekah Jones has made outlandish claims before and a thorough investigation has revealed there was “insufficient evidence” for all of those allegations. Jones says she’s going to appeal the ruling but this is probably over for her. Her primary opponent said she was pleased by the decision:
I believe justice has been served. All congressional candidates must comply with the same set of rules to become a qualified candidate. Jones clearly did not follow the rules and in doing so violated her Candidate Oath. This decision is good news for the Democratic party as the Republicans would have brought Jones’ voter registration violation to light had she become the nominee, leaving the Democratic party without a qualified candidate on the ballot in November.
As for the incumbent who Jones was hoping to take on this fall, he took a shot at both Democrats but concluded, “it seems obvious that the Judge followed the law and that Rebekah Jones is a fraud in virtually all she does.”
Team Gaetz doesn’t celebrate voters being denied a choice.
It seems small of @peggyforFL1 to seek Rebekah’s defeat in court rather than during the primary.
That said, it seems obvious that the Judge followed the law and that Rebekah Jones is a fraud in virtually all she does. https://t.co/F7ypQLkghT
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) August 5, 2022