Rebekah Jones, who was fired from her job with Florida’s well being division in 2020 after which gained notoriety for making unsubstantiated accusations that Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration was fudging the state’s Covid-19 numbers, gained the Democratic nomination for Congress within the state’s Panhandle area on Tuesday.

As of 9:30 p.m., Jones had 62.3 % of the vote in comparison with her opponent, Peggy Schiller, who obtained 37.7 % of the vote in North Florida’s first congressional district, in response to the Florida Division of Elections. The Related Press known as the race for Jones at 8:54 p.m.

Jones will face Republican Matt Gaetz in November’s normal election.

Jones’s victory comes sooner or later after a Florida appeals courtroom dominated that she may stay on the poll. In early August, a Leon County circuit decide disqualified Jones from the primary poll as a result of information confirmed she hadn’t been registered as a Democrat for a full 12 months whereas residing for a brief interval in Maryland. Paperwork confirmed that Jones initially registered as a Democrat in Maryland, modified her registration to “unaffiliated” final June, after which switched again to Democrat final August, in response to a USA As we speak-Florida newspaper report.

Jones claimed that she solely registered to vote in Maryland as soon as, as a Democrat. She stated the opposite voter registration modifications weren’t accomplished by her, the paper reported. A Florida election regulation handed final 12 months requires candidates in partisan elections to be registered as a member of their celebration for a full 12 months earlier than qualifying begins in June.

In its ruling Monday, the three-judge 1st District Courtroom of Appeals panel dominated that “the veracity of a duly certified candidate’s sworn celebration affiliation” can’t be challenged and used as a foundation for disqualification. The underlying regulation “offers no categorical authority to disqualify a celebration candidate if she was not in reality a registered celebration member through the 365-day window,” the panel stated, in response to Politico.

Jones, a former web site dashboard supervisor for the Florida Division of Well being, was fired in Could 2020 for “a number of efficiency points.” She grew to become a minor political superstar and a left-wing heroine after she claimed that she was focused for refusing to manipulate data to justify DeSantis’s plan to reopen the state. She appeared on nationwide TV, amassed a military of greater than 380,000 Twitter followers, was the topic of glowing profiles in mainstream information shops, launched her personal Covid tracker, and raised a half million {dollars} on-line.

However her credibility quickly crumbled as her private life got here beneath scrutiny, and he or she was accused of peddling wild conspiracy theories. In Could, a Florida inspector general’s report discovered “inadequate proof” or no proof that Jones was requested to falsify the state’s Covid information, as she had claimed. The report exonerated state officers whom Jones had accused of wrongdoing.

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