Judge grants Nina Hayden temporary injunction, meaning she's back on the ballot

Lewis also wrote today that granting a temporary injunction now is "consistent with the public interest," because if he later determined that Hayden's claim had failed, he could rule her ineligible and there would be no ultimate harm. But Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark needs to have clarity by this Sunday (June 17) so that ballots could be printed and sent to military personnel in a "timely manner as required by law."

Lewis wrote that "If conversely, I do not grant temporary injunctive relief, and later determine that Ms. Hayden's claims are meritorious, " Hayden would be deprived of appearing on the ballot, or Supervisor Clark and taxpayers would be "subjected to tremendous expense and confusion in an effort to then place Ms. Hayden on the ballot before the primary election."

Hayden has not been available for comment all week on the matter.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face 21-term GOP incumbent Bill Young in November.

  • Nina Hayden

It's been a crazy week for Pinellas County Democratic congressional candidate Nina Hayden.

After being ruled off the ballot earlier this week by Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis today granted Hayden a temporary injunction and said she should be put back on the August 14 ballot, where she is running against Jessica Ehrlich in the Congressional District 13 Democratic Primary race in Pinellas County.

The Division of Elections office had said that Hayden failed to qualify because of a problem with her paperwork in filing to run, specifically that the notary did not sign the notarization of her qualifying form, as required by law. Because she filed just an hour before the deadline last Friday, the error was not found until after the deadline passed. Thus Detzner determined that she had failed to qualify for the office and instructed Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark to take Hayden's name off the ballot.

But Judge Terry Lewis in his ruling today wrote that the law does not require strict compliance with all statutory requirements under all circumstances.

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