“It was a big decision, but ultimately it became the right thing to do.”
That’s what Robin Lumb told the Jax Daily Record this week regarding his plans not to run again for City Council, or for Supervisor of Elections (a race in which he held a fundraising advantage over other declared candidates). Lumb intends, per the Record, to “focus on helping candidates as the new Chair of the Republican Party of Duval County.”
As reported here earlier yesterday, Lumb has a big task ahead of him. The local GOP has been fractured of late, buffeted by scandals and internal dissension. Rick Hartley, the previous chair, decided not to run for reelection earlier this month.
Interestingly, Rick Hartley threw his hat into the ring for the Supervisor of Elections gig. But there seems to be some disagreement as to whether he will be the GOP standard bearer.
According to the Daily Record piece, other candidates have approached the party, “showing interest” in the SOE gig.
Hartley, for his part, seems to be a curious choice for Supervisor of Elections. As reported here on Friday, any campaign he runs likely will be conducted in the shadow of his fractious tenure as local GOP head, including moments when he called Mayor Alvin Brown “thuggish”, as well as his ineffable defense of former GOP Party Secretary Kim Crenier’s Tweets, in the wake of the Ferguson verdict protests, to turn the fire hoses onto protesters, since they “probly need a shower” (SIC).
When this writer asked Hartley about the scandalous Tweets, he was flummoxed by my inquiry. “This is — isn’t there anything else in the world to report?”
In speaking to the Jax Daily Record, Hartley doesn’t exactly make a compelling case for himself as potential Supervisor of Elections.
“I’ve always been interested in elections,” Hartley said. “I’ve been dismayed in the number of people who don’t take advantage of the electoral process.”
Informed sources within the local Republican Party have suggested that Hartley’s departure from the GOP hierarchy had at least as much to do with his inability to get Mike Hogan to rule out a Mayoral campaign as with any attendant scandal related to inflammatory racialist rhetoric from his colleagues in the Duval County GOP.