FDLE investigation doesn’t faze Clay County voters in Sheriff race, poll says
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels.

Darryl Daniels
Darryl Daniels has a nearly 30 point advantage over his nearest opponent.

Despite a crowded field of challengers, a new poll reveals Clay County voters want to re-elect their embattled Sheriff.

A survey from St. Pete Polls commissioned by the Darryl Daniels re-election campaign shows the first-term Republican with strong approval numbers.

The media release trumpets the topline: “The poll conducted in mid-March by St. Pete Polls and Slover Consulting show that a strong majority, over 61%, of likely voters, approve of the job that the Sheriff is doing.

“When asked who you would vote for, Sheriff Daniels wins by nearly 30 points over his nearest opponent. In addition, Clay County voters by nearly a 4 to 1 margin said that they want to elect a Sheriff for Clay County that actually lives in Clay County.”

The decision to release polling from weeks ago is always an interesting one for a campaign to make.

Daniels, facing a nearly year-old FDLE investigation over abuse of power allegations spanning two counties, recently filed for re-election, amidst speculation about his political vulnerability.

Still, the poll numbers are encouraging.

In a ballot test of the entire field, Daniels is the choice of 44% surveyed, with Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michelle Cook at 14% and the rest of the field in single digits.

Daniels and Cook are both alumnae of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The leading fundraiser at the moment, Mike Taylor, has raised $100,000 and has spent $23,000.

Cook has raised more than $81,000, and has nearly $57,000 on hand.

Both are well-ahead of the incumbent, who reported raising $26,000 through February.

The rest of the field is characterized by slower fundraising, a faster burn rate, or a combination thereof.

Ben Carroll, a veteran of the Clay Sheriff’s Office and a former Police Chief, has raised just over $54,000 as of the end of November, but has less than $8,000 on hand.

Harold Rutledge, a former sergeant with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Clay County Commissioner, currently is executive director for the Florida Public Service Association.

Rutledge has raised just over $24,000, with roughly $13,000 on hand.

Catherine Webb is also running. She has raised $10,375 so far, and retains more than $8,000 of those funds.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Theresa Brown

    April 10, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    This information is on the St Pete Polls About Us section:
    The list of people to poll comes from the publicly available state-registered voters list for the state of Florida. It is not a complete list of registered voters, it is only those voters that added their phone numbers when they registered to vote(which is optional) in addition to white pages phone book listings for registered voters. In compliance with the TCPA, we will not call cellphones, and we have proccesses in place to filter them out. Also, if you don’t want these survey calls, we will add your phone number to our no-calling list, just email us at [email protected] and we will take you off the list. You can also call 727-865-4372 and select option 6 to not be called about our St Petersburg polls in the future(This will not work if you block your caller ID when you call us). The phone polling data that we collect is anonymous in our system, and we are not using any of this information to sell anything to the people we are calling.

    There are 83,324 Republican registered voters in Clay County. Of these, those whose numbers are excluded include most if not all law enforcement and first responders.

    I would be curious to know more details about this poll before I believed the numbers. I think it is safe to say that Sheriff Darryl Daniel’s survey is not indicative of the county voters

Comments are closed.


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