Law enforcement officials on Wednesday raided the home of former Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles, a Republican after he bragged about planting no-party candidate in order to sway the Miami-Dade’s Senate District 37 race, The Miami Herald reports.
Artiles’ involvement in the race first became public after The Herald reported that he recruited and boasted about planting Alex Rodriguez — a no-party candidate who shared the same surname as the incumbent Democrat.
As noted by the news outlet, Rodriguez is an auto parts dealer and had never run for political office before and only registered as a Republican days before he became a candidate. His mysterious candidacy has been under investigation since last November.
At an election night party, Artiles bragged that he planted Rodriguez in the race, The Herald reported in December, adding that Artiles talked about his so-called “siphoning strategy” in the summer of 2018 with a friend, saying that he planned to use no-party candidates to draw votes away from his intended target to sway elections.
Artiles resigned from the Senate in 2017 as two scandals involving him simultaneously erupted — one being an alcohol-fueled rant in which he called two Black lawmakers a racist slur in a Tallahassee bar, the other involving the hiring of a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model with no political experience as “consultants” using funds from his political committee.