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Rep. Kim Daniels has GOP help in Dem primary.


Charter school, conservative interests back Democrat Kim Daniels’ reelection

Republicans, conservatives back Democratic ‘Blue Dog’ incumbent.

State Rep. Kim Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat, is getting some outside help against two opponents in the August HD 14 primary.

The Florida Federation for Children PAC, chaired by Step Up for Students head John Kirtley, cut an ad for Daniels that depicted her efforts fighting for Florida’s unemployed.

The fifteen-second video from May 18, shared on the lawmaker’s personal Facebook page, asserted that “Floridians are out of work and a failed system prevents them from getting the help they desperately need.”

“State Rep. Kimberly Daniels is fighting to get it fixed and will hold accountable those responsible for this failure. Representative Kimberly Daniels is working for us in this critical time of need.”

Why a PAC funded by charter school interests is messaging about the “failed” unemployment system remains opaque, but for Daniels, it’s clear that the GOP cavalry is riding in to help in case her primary gets difficult.

The Democrat, looking for her third term, has two filed challengers in August.

Angie Nixon, a political operative and community organizer, filed in March to run for the seat. In February, activist Connell Crooms filed to run against Daniels.

Daniels, who aligned with Republicans on parental consent legislation this year, holds a strong financial advantage after raising nearly $30,000 in April.

Helping out: maximum $1,000 contributions from First Coast Conservatives, the political committee of outgoing Republican House Appropriations Chair Travis Cummings, and from Florida Foundation for Liberty, the political committee of future Republican Speaker of the House Paul Renner.

Cummings and Renner-funded committees had already donated to Daniels before Session.


Last year, the Florida Chamber recognized Daniels as the most pro-business Democrat in the Legislature.

The incumbent has nearly $45,000 on hand. Crooms has raised just $150 after three months in the race, suggesting a narrow path forward. Nixon has raised nearly $18,000 off smaller contributions, which speaks to a broad base of support, but which may not be a sustainable strategy to match Daniels check to check.

Daniels survived a primary challenge in 2018, in part because the primary was open. In 2020, a write in candidate will close the election to Democrats only.

She’s not worried, she said this winter.

“I’m standing my ground. I have a right to be here. If they don’t like it,” Daniels said, “get a good opponent and send me home.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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