Why did Angela Corey’s campaign manager file her write-in opponent’s campaign paperwork? – Florida Politics

Why did Angela Corey’s campaign manager file her write-in opponent’s campaign paperwork?

On Monday afternoon, Fourth Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey opened her campaign office, contrasting her commitment to “positive energy” with the “lies and misinformation” she expects from her opponents.

“I plan to run this campaign with positive energy,” said Corey, and to “continue to rebut the lies and misinformation” from her political opponents.

“I will not … I will not,” Corey emphasized, “apologize for doing what I promised to do in 2008.”

After extolling the performance of her office over the last eight years, Corey again revisited the earlier theme.

“There’s going to be a lot of negative [messaging] coming our way,” Corey said to the dozens of supporters on hand.

“You need to tell people ‘don’t listen.’ There’s not a thing they can throw at us that we can’t say is legal, moral, and ethical.”

Note that last turn of phrase.

Opponents have already contended there has been one questionable tactic by Team Corey in the current campaign, via the suspicious enlistment of “men only” divorce lawyer Kenny Leigh to run as a write-in, filing just hours after Corey’s second Republican opponent, Melissa Nelson, filed.

“Angela Corey disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters of color by putting up a write-in candidate for State Attorney and closing the primary. It was the handiwork of Ms. Corey’s political consultant Matt Justice, with the help of his divorce lawyer friend Kenny Leigh,” claimed Corey’s other Republican opponent, Wes White.

Leigh describes himself as a “big supporter” of the incumbent he is running against, and contributed to Corey’s campaign in 2008. Justice, meanwhile, had run Leigh’s campaign for the school board in Clay County earlier this decade.

A narrative persisted since Leigh’s filing that Corey’s campaign manager, Alexander Pantinakis, filed Leigh’s paperwork in Tallahassee.

FloridaPolitics.com had, for days, attempted to get a “yes or no” answer from Pantinakis regarding that claim.

And he played coy when asked Monday about his role in filing for Leigh’s candidacy.

“You’ll have to ask Kenny Leigh how his paperwork was filed,” Pantinakis said, offering versions of the same statement when asked other matters relating to the claim.

After talking with reporters Thursday evening, Leigh did not return repeated calls from FloridaPolitics.com to clarify the narrative.

Corey, likewise, claimed to have no knowledge of the charge.

“It wouldn’t have been my operation,” Corey said. “They would have been on their own.”

But later Monday evening, after conferring with Corey, Pantinakis changed his narrative.

“I received and submitted Kenny Leigh’s documents on Thursday, May 5th solely in my capacity as the Duval County Republican State Committeeman,” Pantinakis wrote in a prepared statement. “Throughout my time as State Committeeman, I have always been a proponent of ensuring that only registered Republicans select Republican nominees for office and would question any Republican candidate who would reject that idea.”

Will Republican voters hold Corey’s campaign accountable for “lies and misinformation,” rendered on the same evening as a speech decrying lies and misinformation?

Are Republican voters to accept a functional difference between Pantinakis as campaign manager and Pantinakis as state committeeman?

And, finally, could this possibly have been the news item Angela Corey’s campaign wanted to emerge from its campaign headquarters opening?

3 Comments

  1. Pantinakis in his official Republican Party position acting as a delivery boy for a write-in candidate. Really? Does he do Leigh’s laundry as well?Sadly, the Trump phenomenon has been lost on Corey, Pantinakis, and Leigh. People are sick and tired of rigged Republican (or Democrat) Party shenanigans. And they are sick and tired of duplicitous doublespeak. Corey and her crew manipulated the system and cut out Independent voters, and now they lack the courage to directly own their actions. Will those Independents ever consider joining a Republican Party lead by Mr. Pantinakis? Can anyone trust Corey to do the “right thing” as State Attorney when she trumpets the ethics of disenfranchising voters? The answer to both questions is “probably not.”

    1. As an Arkansas native with not even a plan to visit Florida, I’m not sure how I became interested in this state attorney election. That being said, I wish you success Wesley White. If Angela Corey is able to deceive her way back into that office, you would surely be welcome in Arkansas. I don’t have much and have never contributed to a campaign, but yours seems pretty worthy. Is there a way to donate other than by mailing a personal check as explained on http://www.weswhite.com ?

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