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Rep. Jay Fant

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Jay Fant not running in CD 4, clears field for John Rutherford

Quashing days of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, Jacksonville State Rep. Jay Fant said he would not run to replace Ander Crenshaw in CD 4.

“I want to thank my backers who have pledged their dollars and their energy and have urged me to consider a Congressional bid, but I think it’s important to finish the work I was elected to do in state government,” Fant said toward the end of a length email statement Thursday.

Notable: Fant does not indicate an endorsement of John Rutherford, the establishment favorite, in his email.

“I will look for a Congressional candidate who will remain true to our values and will work with him or her to fight for reform led by the states,” Fant wrote.

Fant’s statement thanks unnamed “backers who have pledged their dollars and their energy and have urged me to consider a Congressional bid,” which speaks to the rumblings among some Republicans that Rutherford shouldn’t simply be handed the nomination.

As it stands, however, Rutherford is the heavy favorite, running against comparatively weaker and less organized opposition.

Meanwhile, Fant’s immediate political future is secure. Running unopposed in the heavily Republican HD 15, Fant has $60,000 in his campaign account as of March filings.

Word among informed observers is that Fant was eyeing Crenshaw’s seat as his next step, though he did not anticipate the eight-term United States Representative standing down for re-election this early.

If Rutherford, 62 years old, gets elected, there undoubtedly will be a scrum among Fant and those of his generation to replace him years down the road.

For now, however, Fant and other names discussed days ago are out of the conversation.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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