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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. 

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »