Karen Giorno denies being paid to endorse Florida candidates - Florida Politics

Karen Giorno denies being paid to endorse Florida candidates

Former Donald Trump campaign strategist Karen Giorno is denying accusations that she was paid in exchange for endorsing Florida Senate candidate Belinda Keiser and Florida House candidate Toby Overdorf.

That’s according to a story by reporter Jose Lambiet.

According to the Florida Division of Elections, Keiser made a payment on July 16 of $70,325 to Kingston Public Affairs. That payment’s purpose was listed as “political consulting.”

Kingston Public Affairs is a New Jersey-based firm owned by Giorno.

Just over two weeks prior to the payment, Giorno gave a ringing endorsement for Keiser’s campaign to take Senate District 25.

“We need someone like Belinda who is not beholden to special interests or party bosses, and knows that she is a public servant,” Giorno said.

According to Lambiet, that payment of more than $70,000 “is unusually high for political consulting.” While it came after Giorno’s formal endorsement, Lambiet argues the timing is conspicuous.

Giorno also recently endorsed Overdorf, who denies he received any benefit from Keiser’s payment to Giorno.

“I’ve known Karen [Giorno] for a couple of years now,” Overdorf said. “I did not pay for the endorsement, nor have I paid for any endorsement of my campaign. I would reject any endorsement that was paid for.”

House District 83, which Overdorf is competing for, overlaps with SD 25. Florida Politics reached out to Keiser for comment; we still are awaiting a reply.

Giorno is a controversial figure in pro-Trump circles. She was removed from Trump’s Florida operation in 2016. Yet her endorsement of Overdorf described herself as a “Trump campaign leader.”

“I am aware she does not work for Trump now, and I have no reason to believe she was ever fired from any campaign,” Overdorf said of Giorno.

Former Palm Beach Gardens Councilwoman Annie Marie Delgado, a Trump supporter, says Giorno is a “pathological liar” who was “divisive and derisive” during the campaign.

“I’m shocked, quite frankly, that this woman continues to portray herself as part of the Trump campaign, or as connected to Trump in any way whatsoever,” Delgado said of Giorno.

Giorno says the payment from Keiser was on the up-and-up, and went toward targeting voters online. She says she believes in the campaigns of Keiser and Overdorf, in part due to their support of the President.

“Both were there for the Trump campaign from the start, at a time when few people wanted to be involved,” Giorno said, according to Lambiet.

“They stand for the Trump agenda.”

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

1 Comment

  1. She wasn’t paid just like members on the Board of Directors for Keiser University aren’t friends and former business partners of Arthur Keiser. Nothing to see here.

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