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Three charged in ghost candidate scheme in Seminole County


Three people including a Seminole County Chamber executive are facing campaign finance charges in connection with a so-called “ghost candidate” in the 2020 race for Senate District 9.

Jestine Iannotti of Winter Springs was the ghost candidate, an independent who in this case could siphon away Democratic votes. State investigators found that political operative Eric Foglesong of Winter Park worked closely with her.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Iannotti illegally accepted a $1,200 cash donation from Foglesong for her campaign. 

Authorities say the two also falsely used the names of other individuals as contributors. Those two face felony charges.

Sen. Jason Brodeur, a Republican, won the election. 

Brodeur’s employee at the Seminole chamber, Vice President of Operations Benjamin Paris, is being served with a court summons for a misdemeanor. He is accused of making a campaign contribution using someone else’s name. 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.