Voter guide causes controversy in 3rd District race for Congress

by: Samuel King Updated:

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CLAY COUNTY, Fla. —

The Clay County supervisor of elections is warning about a voter guide that recently went out to homes and businesses by a congressional candidate. He said it didn’t come from his office. 

Business owners and voters in Orange Park complained to the office after receiving the guides from the Jake Rush campaign. 

“It must have a political disclaimer on the back of the mail piece and this does have a disclaimer,” said Chris Chambless, the Clay County Supervisor of Elections. “But it is certainly misleading because typically a voter guide does come from a supervisor of elections office.”

The guide does contain voter information, but it also frequently criticizes U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, who is running for reelection.

“The voter guide never uses the word official,” said Alex Patton, a campaign consultant for Rush. “It is clearly marked with a disclaimer.”

It's not the first time Rush's campaign has faced controversy. His past with what the campaign calls an amateur acting group - which included him dressing as a vampire - drew national attention.  The campaign said then -- as now with the voter guide issue -- Yoho’s campaign is playing dirty tricks. 

“It is absolutely crystal clear that Ted Yoho and his campaign would rather talk about anything than his year and a half in Congress and his record,” Patton said. 

Yoho’s campaign manager told Action News the guides are beyond the scope of regular campaign antics, saying they actually cross the line. 

The 3rd District includes 13 counties, including Clay, Bradford, Union and Columbia.