The Democratic Party National Congressional Campaign Committee is backing Ed Jany for Florida’s U.S. House district 13 this year, even though he is a registered independent. See this story.
Jany would like to be a Democrat, but Florida law does not permit anyone to run in a primary if he or she has been a registered member of another party during the proceeding year. Jany had been a registered Republican for part of that period.
The Democratic Party statements criticize the Florida law, which was passed in 2011. But the Democratic Party does not reveal that it had a chance to overturn that law, as applied to Democratic candidates, and it refused to help. Nancy Argenziano had run for the legislature in 2012. Like Jany, she wanted to run as a Democrat, but the same law interfered with her as well. She filed a lawsuit against the restriction, but lost. Her attorney asked the Democratic Party of Florida to enter the lawsuit as a co-plaintiff, but the party refused. If the party had entered the lawsuit, Argenziano would probably have won. The U.S. Supreme Court said in Tashjian v Republican Party of Connecticut in 1986 that the First Amendment permits a political party to nominate a non-member, if it wishes. A federal court in New Mexico and a state court in Colorado have both struck down laws similar to the Florida law, in cases in which a political party itself brought the lawsuit. Thanks to Austin Cassidy for the link.