Until this year, Jacksonville legislators Lake Ray and Reggie Fullwood served together in Tallahassee. Ray is termed out. And, if the endorsement from the First Coast Manufacturers Association is any indication, the Republican wants to show Fullwood the door on his way out.
The FCMA endorsed Tracie Davis, running against Fullwood in Jacksonville’s House District 13, over the incumbent.
What makes this interesting: Lake Ray is the president of the FCMA. Ray served with Fullwood on Jacksonville’s City Council in addition to the Legislature, so he knows Fullwood well.
What makes this even more interesting is there is a Republican primary in HD 13, a competitive one with two plausible candidates. One of those candidates — Pastor Mark Griffin — has the most money of anyone in the field, and his campaign is being managed by Jacksonville City Councilman Sam Newby.
Newby is the executive vice chair of the Duval Republican Party, which Ray was chair of until he resigned earlier this year to run for the United States Congress.
The pull quote highlighted in Davis’ press release can be seen as a slam of both the incumbent and the Republican Griffin also.
“We need strong leadership,” the FCMA asserted.
Davis is “excited and honored” to have the endorsement, which historically goes to Republicans.
Meanwhile, this endorsement of a Democrat in the HD 13 race creates an existential question for Ray, running in the GOP primary in Congressional District 4: Why did Ray’s manufacturers’ group pass over a viable Republican candidate in the HD 13 race to endorse a Democratic challenger?