Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's New Democratic Challenger Kicks Off Campaign by Acknowleding Arrests

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida's longest serving member of congress, won't be getting a guaranteed ride to re-election. Though she had already drawn two Democratic challengers (Thomas Cruz-Wiggins, a "poet obedient to Christ," and Frank Perez, an Army veteran), she's drawn a new challenger with backing from the Democratic National Committee. 

Meet Scott Fuhrman. 

Who is he? Well, let him introduce himself in his campaign announcement video. 

First, he introduces you to the local family business he runs, Florida Bottling Company, a producer of organic juice. Then you meet his adorable daughter and loving wife. This all seems pretty standard. He's a young, handsome businessman with a lovely family. Seems like the stuff of any candidate's dreams. The fact that he's a political outsider who hasn't held office before actually might help in this crazy election cycle. 

Then, there's this.
"Unlike most politicians this isn't something I've spent my life planning for," Fuhrman says. "That's why it's important to you from day one. I want you to vote for me, but I want you to know who I am and who I was. When I was younger I made some bad decisions. I drove too fast, I raced cars, and I broke the law. I put myself and other people at risk. I made some stupid choices. Simple as that." 

View that announcement for yourself. 
Fuhrman followed through by posting a summary of his past arrests and assorted legal documents on his website. The PDF can be found in the "About Scott" page. 

The most serious charge was a 2009 arrest for DUI and prohibited use of a firearm. According to the documents, Scott was pulled over by an officer in Boulder, Colorado, after an illegal lane change. He had a loaded handgun in the driver's side door and didn't inform the officer. He eventually pleaded guilty to the charges, paid a $1,071 fine and performed 56 hours of community service. 

In 2013, Fuhrman was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He crashed into the back of a truck and then drove off. The charges were thrown out after his lawyer argued he wasn't read his Miranda rights. 

The other arrests date back to Fuhrman's time as an undergrad at FSU. They include charges of possession of alcohol by a minor, disorderly conduct, and an open container violation. In other words, college bro stuff. 

The campaign even released Fuhrman's history of 18 different traffic violations.  Fuhrman says half of those violations were eventually thrown out. 

Well, he wanted to get all that baggage out of the way, and now he has. 

These things aren't easy to hide, though. If Fuhrman ignored them it was only a matter of time until the press (or Republicans) would have found them and trumpeted them. 

Fuhrman also wouldn't be the only candidate with a checkered driving and partying past. 

The New York Times memorably put Marco Rubio and his wife on blast for their long history of traffic infractions

Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is running for Senate, was arrested for using a fake ID outside of Crobar in South Beach during his days as a University of Miami undergrad. 

Though, those didn't quite add up to the sheer size of Fuhrman's rap sheet. 

Even if his past was squeaky clean, Fuhrman would still have a bit of an uphill battle. 

District 27 was recently redrawn to lean slightly Republican, and many fear that Donald Trump's candidacy could have negative effects for down-ballot Republicans in Miami-Dade. 

Ros-Lethinen, however, remains widely known, and her longtime LGBT-friendly views have endeared her to many Democratic voters. Mostly recently she recorded a pro-transgender rights PSA with her transgender son Rodrigo.