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José Oliva comes to Randy Fine’s defense in primary feud

House Speaker calls Marcie Adkins a power-hungry liar.

Brevard County Rep. Randy Fine and Marcie Adkins are squaring off in a nasty Republican primary battle.

Adkins’ campaign has claimed to have a video of Fine with prostitutes — a video that Fine says is nonexistent — and one of her campaign consultants, Robert Burns, taunted Fine’s mother by offering to show it to her. On Mother’s Day.

All the while, Adkins has allowed anti-Semitism to fester among her supporters, with one posting on her campaign Facebook page that Fine should “go back to Israel.” Fine is Jewish.

On Tuesday, House Speaker José Oliva said enough is enough and issued a statement admonishing the Adkin campaign for the rhetoric and the candidate for allowing it to occur.

“Outright lying about your opponent and harassing their family is beyond the pale and Ms. Adkins and her campaign should be ashamed,” Oliva said. ”Compounding such outrageous behavior by turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism and bigotry on social media sites you control only further demonstrates why voters should keep Representative Fine.”

To the Miami Lakes Republican, whose term as House Speaker ends in November, Adkins’ has gone beyond the point of no return. He said he would support Fine’s reelection campaign “to the fullest extent possible.”

“There is no spinning this. Accusing someone of something that they demonstrably did not do and repeating those accusations to their elderly parent is not political discourse or the full contact nature of politics. It’s called being a liar and power-hungry,” he said.

“The people of District 53 should be proud to have a representative that stands up for their interests at great personal cost to himself. The people of Brevard County have a champion in Randy Fine and no amount of lies, misdirection, or spin can change that fact. His constituents know that and they should, and will, reject desperation demagoguery and send him back to the Legislature.”

Adkins’ campaign tactics stem from a longtime feud between Fine and Burns — a feud Burns has largely waged solo through harassment and attempted intimidation.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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