SARASOTA, Fla., June 8 (UPI) -- Florida Republican political up-and-comer U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan faces 14 lawsuits accusing him of alleged shady practices as a car dealer, documents show.
Buchanan, a Sarasota millionaire, said last month he would forgo runs for Florida governor or the U.S. Senate, instead opting to seek a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He didn't say at the time that had just delivered a deposition in a lawsuit accusing him of going back on a promise to reward an employee who had helped him in a lucrative real estate deal, The St. Petersburg, Fla., Times reported Monday.
The newspaper said the suit is only one of 14 facing Buchanan. His attorneys argued in court documents last year that the suits were politically motivated, but months after he won reelection in November the suits remain and could torpedo his statewide political ambitions, analysts said.
"It's very common when you've had a tough battle at home that involves lawsuits that you decide to back away from those statewide races and stay put,'' Susan McManus, a University of South Florida political scientist, told the newspaper. "His constituents know him, but it would be a more difficult thing to sell to Florida at large."