Lawsuit Filed Over Escambia County Supervisor Of Elections Candidate Disqualification

June 24, 2024

Vowing “that this is not over”, attorney Bruce Childers has filed a lawsuit against Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Robert Bender.

Last Thursday, the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office disqualified GOP candidate Bruce Childers, who was running for Supervisor of Elections, according to a statement from that office.

“Mr. Bruce Childers did not qualify as a candidate for the position of supervisor of elections.,” a statement from the Supervisor of Elections Office aid. “Mr. Childers’ full and public financial disclosure was not provided by close of qualifying, and Florida Statute §99.061(7)(a), requires a candidate qualifying for Constitutional office to provide a copy of the full and public financial disclosure Form 6 by the close of qualifying.  The requirement is pursuant to the Florida Constitution and Florida’s election and ethics laws.”

“On Thursday, June 20, I received an email from the qualifying officer, not even from Robert Bender himself, that I was disqualified because I “failed to provide a copy of the full and complete financial disclosure Form 6,’” Childers a social media post.

He has now filed a lawsuit seeking an emergency declaration from a judge to put him back on the ballot as a qualified candidate for supervisor of elections.

Childers said he wasn’t notified until Thursday that he was disqualified because he “failed to provide a copy of the full and complete financial disclosure form 6″.

Childers said he never received a call about any issues, which is something he claims should have been done, according to the Florida statute that states a qualifying officer shall make every reasonable effort to notify the candidate of missing or incomplete items.

“For those who know the history between Robert Bender and my wife over his 58% pension, you have probably read between the lines. I will leave it at that,” he said in his post.

Childer’s is the husband of Escambia County Comptroller and Clerk of the Court Pam Childers. After she filed suit, a judge ruled that a local retirement plan used by three Escambia County commissioners, including Bender, was unlawful.

Photos courtesy WEAR 3 for, click to enlarge.


23 Responses to “Lawsuit Filed Over Escambia County Supervisor Of Elections Candidate Disqualification”

  1. Susan on June 25th, 2024 12:44 pm

    Former Superintendent Stafford recommended the governor appoint Sonja Daniel to finish his term in office until the next election. It might have been good to let this happen so that we could choose. Any idea why DeSantis did not allow the woman to become acting Supervisor of Elections?

  2. Bewildered on June 25th, 2024 8:52 am

    Scary how many people think the way this is being handled is okay. I have no idea of anyone’s political party affiliation – nor should it matter to anyone else. Let him run instead of fighting tooth and nail to suppress him getting on the ballot. With all elections The VOTERS have the right to decide the outcome

  3. Philip Holmes on June 25th, 2024 12:21 am

    The Supervisor of Elections should not be approving or not approving of his own opponents. This one position should be administrated by another entity.

  4. Concerned on June 24th, 2024 10:18 pm

    What if he forgets to count our votes during the elections. Day late a dollar short fella. No vote from me

  5. Lou on June 24th, 2024 9:18 pm

    Thank you sir. I guess waponizaion at the federal , state ; and county is here . We the regular , limited value folks support you .

  6. David Huie Green on June 24th, 2024 9:01 pm

    “Voters feel their opportunity to choose who We The People want in that position has been taken away.”

    I wonder if this helps folks sympathies with would-be voters who notice what looks to them like attempts to stop them from voting or letting unqualified voters kill their votes or even pretend their votes shouldn’t be considered.

    Pretty much all can picture it if they are the ones being wronged.
    It’s harder when others experience it.

    Try to treat each other the way you wish they treated you.

    David for The Golden Rule

  7. JR on June 24th, 2024 7:58 pm

    All these people saying that the lawyer is at fault for not reading the statute…

    How about the two experienced Supervisor of Elections employees that have worked there for years giving him the wrong information?!
    The filing of the Form 6 Is relatively new and if the Deputy Supervisor of Elections and another staff member signed off on his qualification, and that is their job, why should a candidate, attorney or not, disbelieve them?

    Childers did file the Form 6 Financial Disclosure with the state as required and showed the staff the watermark receipt as well as the form online. Sonya Daniels told him that was all she needed to have and she initialed it as complete. So did the second employee that checked her work.

    What the public should be asking is WHY Bender’s office didn’t catch whatever they are now saying is wrong and why didn’t they call him back in time before the deadline like they did other candidates?

    Robert Bender was appointed to this position and he should have to run for this position fairly. Besides, he did enough damage as a County Commissioner.

    Also, this is the second candidate that his office qualified and then later disqualified.

    We didn’t seem to have these type of problems under David Stafford.

  8. Brwildered on June 24th, 2024 7:25 pm

    Childers should have been told that a form was missing. Incumbent has the upper hand with experience on the job. If he has the voters convinced he did a good job he will be re-elected anyway. So what’s the big deal? Why weasel out of facing a challenger using less than honorable means ? Typical politician

  9. Safebear on June 24th, 2024 6:55 pm

    Oh wait! A republican failing to file a financial disclosure form for an office they are running for? Haven’t we seen that before?

  10. Sg on June 24th, 2024 1:44 pm

    A lawyer who can’t read the statute (rules) … imgaine that?

  11. SG on June 24th, 2024 1:43 pm

    So you are an attorney.. but you can’t read the statute?
    You didn’t understand what was required even though it is clearly stated in the statute?I am having a hard time understanding that.
    Luckily, since you are an attorney, you know enough and have the resources to file a lawsuit over you not following the rules!
    How much of our money do we the public need to spend to deal with this?

  12. Anne on June 24th, 2024 12:53 pm

    Rode down Palafox Street today and in front of Supervisor of Elections were quite a number of citizens PROTESTING against the disqualification of Bruce Childers.
    Lots is being said about this issue and MANY of Voters feel their opportunity to choose who We The People want in that position has been taken away.
    YES, this elderly lady blew her horn in Support for the Protesters and Mr. Childers.

    For the Supervisor of Elections to have the leeway to approve or deny applicants because they have “Discretion” leaves the door open to misdeeds and denial of voter rights.
    The way this has been handled by Bender’s office is smelling rank.

  13. Susie on June 24th, 2024 12:12 pm

    Hasn’t Escambia County had enough of “The good ‘ol boys” system? Stop the nepotism and get on with the people who are qualified.

  14. DanPaq on June 24th, 2024 11:37 am

    I predict Mr. Childers will be on ballot and that it will be a close and dirty election, Amplified because it is county-wide, unlike most of the others.
    Let’s see who endorses whom in this one.

  15. Frank on June 24th, 2024 11:13 am

    Hahahahaha! folks think someone would not retaliate for their 58% retirement being take away…. That it funny.

    Florida statute that states a qualifying officer shall make every reasonable effort to notify the candidate of missing or incomplete items.

    Let a Judge tell us if Mr. Bender has integrity.

    Then let the Voters decide if Escambia Co has been take hostage by the good old boys.

    I thought we had learned our lesson after a “Collard pot” but how easily we forget.

  16. Willis on June 24th, 2024 10:58 am

    A lawyer that’s not smart enough to even file the correct paperwork and takes to social media to cry like a little….

    With a wife that is an elected official and should know all the ins and outs of filing to run.

    We have too many Childers in office now.

  17. Lou is Wrong on June 24th, 2024 10:21 am

    @Lou you are talking in circles. So he shouldn’t challenge the ruling because he can afford to do so? If Childers turns in his required docs and they tell him he is good before he leaves and then finds out at the last minute he didn’t meet the requirements, so sad, too bad? I’m glad I don’t live in your fantasy world.

  18. Beach Boy on June 24th, 2024 10:06 am

    IF…the judge rules that Childers can be qualified to be placed on the ballot….I’m not sure I would vote for him anyways. To me, it sounds like there is something amiss in the Childers corner. The fact that he knew what had to be filed in order to be a candidate and didn’t do it, that is on him.

  19. TM17 on June 24th, 2024 9:53 am

    From what I understand, The election office has a legal mandate to help and make sure a candidate has all their necessary paperwork in order when the candidate submits. From what it looks like, the elections office gave Mr Childers a thumbs up.
    If this is what happened, The appointed, Mr. Benders office failed Mr. Childers and the voters of Escambia County.

  20. OhYouKnow on June 24th, 2024 9:47 am

    Attorney Bruce Childers needs to move to Century.

    Pretty sure Attorneys are required to be able to read and following instructions.
    Mr. Childers, yes this is embarrassing for you.
    Own it and move on to the next election

    I will not vote for Mr. Childers, anyone who can’t or won’t read the application and comply with it, is not someone we need in Government.

  21. Lou on June 24th, 2024 8:13 am

    1. Why would an attorney want that position? 2. His wife is the clerk of court….now the husband wants in on the action. 3. The rules are the rules! 4. I don’t for one minute believe Mr. Bender is using a past problem with Pam against the husband….he has more integrity than that. 5. The rules are the rules; you’re starting out wanting special treatment and to bend them? Nope! 6. Most people couldn’t afford an attorney to pursue this, especially when they are in the wrong.

  22. SW on June 24th, 2024 7:55 am

    So a candidate for office (who happens to be a lawyer) didn’t follow the rules to qualify for office?

    It’s someone else’s fault?

    Sound familiar?

  23. Oversight on June 24th, 2024 7:18 am

    Again, the dq of Childers doesn’t pass the smell test, and is an epic fail by the election’s supervisor.

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