New Times does not endorse political candidates. Sure, there are some really well-meaning people running for office this year, but as anyone who has lived in Florida for more than 45 minutes knows, even the most well-intentioned of political neophytes might end up embroiled in a corruption probe or sexting scandal or orphan-fighting-ring bust six weeks down the line.
Plus, you don't care about New Times' advice. You'll vote how you'll vote anyway. We know you.
But although we're not in the business of telling you whom to vote for, we're quite happy to tell you whom to avoid on Election Day. For every well-meaning candidate for the Florida Legislature, there's a Daphne Campbell, who's been embroiled in a whole host of scandals over the years. Ditto David Rivera, who even the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police unendorsed this year.
So before you pull the lever (or, more accurate, fill in some circles with a pen), make sure you're not lining up to support these five Florida-specific candidates:
Photo by Gage Skidmore's Flickr/CC 2.0
1. Marco Rubio
Do we even have to explain this one anymore? The people who know him describe him as a craven, ambition-obsessed phony. He refuses to rescind his endorsement of Donald Trump, has flip-flopped on basically every major issue in his career, and has said he doesn't enjoy being in the Senate. He's running for reelection anyway.
Florida House of Representatives/BasicGov via Flickr Creative Commons
2. Daphne Campbell
Democrat Daphne Campbell somehow won the primary for State Senate District 38 despite having a history of shady business deals, a son who's been charged with Medicare fraud, a secretary arrested for fraud, and at least ten foreclosures filed against her properties. When we called Campbell about those foreclosures, she pretended we had the wrong number. She now wants a promotion.
3. David Rivera
Rivera — a Republican running for Florida House District 188 — is a political zombie. His reputation has pretty much been run over by a Sherman tank, and yet here he is, close to holding office
4. Joe Kaufman
There's pretty much no way in hell that Kaufman will beat Debbie Wasserman Schultz in this year's congressional District 23 race. But Kaufman deserves a shout-out here anyway: He's a rampant Islamophobe, has appeared at Trump rallies, and spends most of his time slandering local Islamic leaders for being Muslim. Oh, and he got clowned by Jason Jones on the Daily Show in 2012. In June, he called for an end to "every Florida radical Muslim institution."
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Photo by Mark Foley| Florida House
5. Frank Artiles
Where do we begin with this guy? Artiles wants to top Dwight Bullard and take state Senate District 40. He's also a brave warrior who proposed a bill to make sure transgender people use public bathrooms designated for the gender with which they were born. He also once had to deny that he punched a college kid at a bar, which means he was once accused of punching a college kid at a bar, which means don't vote for this clown.