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Dems Call For New Senate Election; Republicans Says No

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Florida Democrats are demanding that a state senator resign and a special election be held after a prosecutor charged a former Republican legislator with fraud related to a razor-thin Miami-Dade County race last year.

Video Transcript

- Well, this morning the Florida Democratic Party is calling on State Republican Senator Ileana Garcia to step down or voluntarily resign in the wake of former State Senator Frank Artiles's arrest on felony campaign finance charges.

Her victory is clearly tainted and will forever cast a cloud on her service in the Senate, not to mention the entire Florida Senate. In the interest of fairness and the sanctity of our democratic electoral process, we call upon Senator Garcia to resign immediately and that a fair special election be held as soon as possible.

Artiles is charged with third degree felonies for alleged plot to place a straw candidate, Alex Rodriguez, in the November 2020 District 37 State Senate race against incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez and Ileana Garcia. Now, prosecutors argue with the same last name as the incumbent, Alex Rodriguez was able to split the votes, which resulted in Senator Garcia winning the election by just 32 votes.

Alex Rodriguez was also arrested. He and Artiles face up to five years in prison. Now, Artiles vowed to fight these charges. Meanwhile, prosecutors say there is no evidence to suggest that Garcia knew anything about this plot, but they are still investigating. We've reached out to her office for comments about the Florida Democrats' request, but we have not heard back.