ORLANDO, Fla. — The race to replace a former state lawmaker out of Ocala is heating up.
Former Republican State Representative Joe Harding stepped down last month after being arrested on federal fraud charges.
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Harding is accused of participating in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA) and illegally collecting COVID-19 business loans.
In early December, a federal grand jury indicted Harding for wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements.
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Harding’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 11 at the United States Courthouse in Gainesville.
State records indicate that five republicans have opened campaign accounts to run for that open seat.
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So far, no democratic candidates have put their names in the race.
The primary is scheduled for March 7.
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