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Brian Kramer sues to disqualify opponent

State attorney candidate Brian Kramer
Photo by Erica Brough

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Last Friday, Brian Kramer, candidate for State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit, filed suit in Leon County against his opponent, Beverly McCallum; the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections; Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton; and the Supervisors of Elections for Baker County, Bradford County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, and Union County.

The basis of the suit is that “Under the Florida Constitution, all State Attorneys ‘shall be and have been a member of the bar of Florida for the preceding five years.'” The suit goes on to argue that being “a member of the bar” refers to “a member with the privilege to practice law,” so a candidate for office who has been suspended from the practice of law is not a member of the bar during the period of suspension.

McCallum was suspended from the practice of law for 15 days in December 2019 for “multiple violations of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.” The disciplinary report states that the facts are “mostly a matter of unrefuted record.” According to the report, McCallum wrote letters making accusations against several judges; one involved a judge’s demeanor, and the other letter implied that a judge “is, or might be engaged in illegal, corrupt or nefarious activity.” The suspension appears on McCallum’s Florida Bar profile.

Kramer has asked the Supervisors of Elections to withhold certification of McCallum as a qualified candidate, not include her name on the ballot, and not certify any votes cast for her.

Kramer and McCallum are the only candidates for the office.

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Kramer sent the following statement: “There are strict standards for holding the office of State Attorney. The Florida Constitution sets the qualifications to run for office. Ms. McCallum was disciplined by the Florida Supreme Court, rendering her unable to practice law. She has failed to meet the standards set forth by the Florida Constitution and is not qualified to hold or run for the office of State Attorney.”