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The Florida Senate

Minority Office — Press Release


March 18, 2021

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5833

Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer: “The Integrity of the Elections Process Is Compromised.”

Tallahassee —

With the arrest today of former state Senator Frank Artiles on felony charges related to election rigging in South Florida, Senate Democratic Leader Gary Farmer (D-Lighthouse Point) issued the following statement: 

“The integrity of the legislative process is severely threatened when any member is here outside of legitimate means,” he said. “Extremely serious charges have been levied by law enforcement against a former member of this body for tampering with the democratic process in order to ensure that a preordained candidate of choice won the election. These allegations raise troubling questions not only about that candidate, but others who may have won election by what appears to have been an organized, dark money operation to achieve a desired electoral outcome.”

“These charges are especially disturbing because what happened in Senate District 37 does not appear to be an isolated incident. There have been well substantiated reports by reputable media sources and watchdog groups of similar election law violations in Senate races across the state. I hope that we see similar investigations such as this one into the illegal funding of NPA candidates and shill primary opponents that we know have occurred elsewhere in Florida.”


“The full breath and extent of this organized effort is still unfolding, and we await further developments as the investigation under the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office proceeds. But it is incumbent upon this Senate to begin a closer examination of these events, and, if the charges are upheld and if these allegations are borne out, to take all steps necessary to ensure that no member is allowed to sit in the Senate if they were brought here through illegal methods.”