TEQUESTA, Fla. - Is it a political game or a legitimate candidacy? That's what some District 82 voters want to know. A candidate signed up at the last minute. Critics say that altered the dynamics of the state House race.
Jupiter nurse Beverly Hires filed as an Independent write-in candidate for the District 82 House of Representatives. She did it last minute, on the paperwork's due date. Her filing changed things. Big time.
Until she filed, all five candidates were Republicans in this race for a House seat covering most of Martin County and part of Palm Beach County.
State law says if all the candidates in a race are from one party, then all voters can vote in the race.
But Hires' entry turns the race into a closed primary ... only Republicans can vote. What's more, Hines made a $250 campaign contribution to one of the Republicans in the race, MaryLynn Magar.
Hires would not talk on camera and says she made her donation before she knew she would get into the race.
Over the phone, she said her candidacy is completely legitimate, and she's surprised people have a problem with it.
One potential opponent, Republican District 82 candidate Calvin Turnquest, said he has a big problem.
"You're silencing the voice of so many people. So many people who will now not be able to vote for the person who's going to represent them in Tallahassee," said Turnquest.