Judge lifts stay on block of Foley polling place signs

Published October 20, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - A judge reinstated her order blocking polling place signs saying votes for disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley will go to a replacement Republican candidate after it was briefly lifted Thursday.

An automatic stay went into effect earlier when Secretary of State Sue Cobb appealed an injunction against the signs that Circuit Judge Janet Ferris issued Wednesday. State law provides for an automatic stay when public officers appeal court rulings.

Ferris wrote that she lifted the stay because posting the signs would cause "irreparable injury" to the Florida Democratic Party, which she said has a substantial likelihood of winning its lawsuit to permanently ban the notices.

"We don't believe there was any basis for vacating the stay," said Cobb spokeswoman Jenny Nash. "A confused voter should not be compelled to guess."

Foley resigned Sept. 29 after the disclosure of suggestive electronic messages he had sent to male teenage congressional pages.

The Republican Party chose state Rep. Joe Negron of Stuart to replace him as its candidate against Democrat Tim Mahoney in Florida's 16th Congressional District.