Lawsuit wants DeSantis to set a US House special election

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A candidate for the U.S. House seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Alcee Hastings has filed a lawsuit seeking to force Gov. Ron DeSantis to schedule a special election.

Hastings died April 6 after decades in the House. Now, there are numerous candidates vying for the job, but there’s one problem: no special election date has been set by the governor.

One of those candidates for the District 20 seat is Elvin Dowling, who has filed a federal lawsuit seeking for force DeSantis to schedule the election.

Dowling claimed the governor’s plan is to “obfuscate, delay and deny.”

The governor’s office did not respond Sunday to an email seeking comment

Five Florida Democratic officials had previously called on DeSantis to schedule the vote. The longer the delay, the more difficult possibly for Democrats and their razor-thin margin in the U.S. House.

Florida Atlantic University professor Kevin Wagner told The Palm Beach Post for a story Sunday that U.S. Constitution instructs that a congressional vacancy “shall” be filled — but the document is vague on an important detail.

“What it doesn’t say is when,” said Wagner, a noted constitutional scholar.