State Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa (Pic by Mark Foley)

State Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa, has lost his bid to replace embattled Republican nominee Jim Norman on the ballot for Florida’s District 12 Senate seat.

A Leon County judge denied Ambler’s motion to be placed on the ballot to replace Norman, who was bounced from the ballot after the same judge, Jackie Fulford, said he deceived the public by not divulging a $500,000 gift from a Tampa businessman that led to the purchase of an Arkansas home. Ambler lost to Norman in the Republican primary.

Fulford has ordered Republican executive committees in Pasco and Hillsborough counties to nominate a candidate to replace Norman, according to the Associated Press. In a twist, the nominee could be Norman, a Hillsborough County commissioner.

If the nominee is anyone other than Norman, early voters will learn by mail their votes cast for the commissioner will go toward whoever is nominated by the Republican Party.

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