Photo via Anna V. Eskamani campaign
Lou Forges, an Ocoee Democrat running against Anna Eskamani in House District 47, has dropped out of the race.
In an email to her supporters on Thursday afternoon, Eskamani said Forges had officially left the primary.
"I will never back down from protecting our democracy from corrupt political games and dirty tricks," Eskamani said in a statement. "House District 47 deserves better than that, and you can count on me to always fight for what is right. Our Democratic opponent was exploited by the Republican Party to run against me in a fake primary. There are no limits to how low the GOP will go to stop us from flipping this seat, and we must be ready for anything come November."
Eskamani also provided a letter Forges sent to the Florida Division of Elections.
"It is with regrets to inform you that I am officially suspending all campaign activities and requesting to withdraw my candidacy," Forges said in the letter dated July 19.
A representative with the state Division of Elections confirmed that Forges withdrew from the race on Thursday.
Forges' resignation comes after a Leon County judge agreed to hear a lawsuit filed by Eskamani, which claimed he was unqualified to run as a candidate because his wife notarized the paperwork
submitted to the state Division of Elections.
Eskamani has referred to Forges as a Republican plant, whose sole purpose was to set up a "fake primary."
"All signs indicate that Lou Forges was recruited by the Republican Party to run against me, creating a fake primary," Eskamani said. "Republicans know they can’t win this seat legitimately, so they’ve resorted to what they know best: dirty tricks and corrupt tactics."
Brenden Boyle, Forges' treasurer and consultant,
told Orlando Weekly
he didn't feel right about continuing with the campaign after their attorneys said there was just too much of a chance that he could be disqualified.
Eskamani, who has so far secured endorsements from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and councilwoman Patty Sheehan, is hoping to capture the seat for HD47, which covers Winter Park and Orlando and is currently open because Republican state Rep. Mike Miller is running for Congress.
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