Republican blogger Javier Manjarres, who was defeated in the August primary for Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, is now being counter-sued for defamation after initiating a defamation case against the victor in that race, Nicolas Kimaz.
As the Aug. 28 primary date neared, Manjarres appeared to begin throwing lawsuits at the wall to see if one might stick.
First, he filed a bizarre stalking suit against Kimaz On Aug. 14. But just two days later, the judge in that case issued an order denying Manjarres’ petition.
Then, with just one day remaining in the primary race, and as questions swirled regarding Manjarres’ seemingly exaggerated claims about his service in the Air Force, the blogger took another flier, filing a defamation suit against Kimaz.
Recent court filings show that pursuit is alive and well, though now Kimaz is also filing a counterclaim, alleging Manjarres is the one making defamatory statements.
In Manjarres’ original complaint, he remarks on allegedly defamatory comments by Kimaz, where Kimaz references Manjarres’ past of “criminal conduct, criminal convictions, and repeated domestic abuse.”
Manjarres’ complaint also contains numerous references to Kimaz’ Lebanese heritage.
In a response filed in September, Kimaz calls Manjarres’ complaint, “a propaganda device to spread false and malicious lies about an opposing candidate rather than a legitimate effort to seek redress of actual grievances.”
Kimaz’ lawyers also refer to Manjarres as “the textbook definition of a poor loser.” They go on to assert that not only did Manjarres fail to properly allege the elements required for a defamation claim, but he also did not even attach any exhibits referenced in the complaint which would document Kimaz’ allegedly defamatory statements.
Kimaz’ attorneys sum up Manjarres’ claims as “a hodgepodge of irrelevant, bizarre and inane statements that do not support any legal claims other than possible Baker Act evaluation for its author.”
In October, Kimaz then added counterclaim for defamation, listing off numerous inflammatory descriptions of Kimaz made by Manjarres in various outlets. Among those are alleged statements that Kimaz, “defrauds voters, “preyed upon unsuspecting voters,” and “is a liar.”
Now, in the most recent filing, Manjarres is looking to dismiss Kimaz’ counterclaim. Manjarres claims Kimaz did not file the necessary documents proving Manjarres ever made those statements, which is exactly what Kimaz alleged regarding the original complaint in this case.
And Manjarres says regardless, the alleged statements do not constitute defamation.
This isn’t the only recent legal dispute Manjarres has been involved in. The Broward Republican Party recently issued a cease and desist to Manjarres for, unsurprisingly, continuing to send out emails blasting Kimaz, where Manjarres identifies himself in the email’s “From” line as “Broward Republican.”
But it is certainly rare to see a losing candidate be so aggressive, attempting to go after the victor with multiple lawsuits stemming from a political contest. And even members of Manjarres’ own political party seem to be wishing him into seclusion.
Kimaz did go on to lose the general election in CD 22 to incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.