An Osceola County commissioner candidate who lost an election in August is suing to have the vote declared invalid, arguing that the third-place finisher was a “ghost candidate” who was bribed to siphon off Hispanic votes.

Jackie Espinosa filed the lawsuit in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Sept. 8, naming two other candidates in the District 4 commission race – incumbent Cheryl Grieb and Carlos Irizarry Sr. – as defendants. 

“This election contest is based upon misconduct on the part of defendant Irizarry and others where he was given or offered a bribe or reward in money, property or any other thing of value for the purpose of procuring the successful candidate’s election for District 4 Osceola County commission” in violation of state law, Espinosa’s legal complaint states.