In a conversation before the holiday, Democratic legislative candidate Angie Nixon, primarying incumbent Rep. Kim Daniels in Jacksonville’s House District 14, described an opponent who was out of touch with her district.
Nixon, an aide to former Rep. Mia Jones, described a dysfunctional office run by Jones’ successor, one characterized by high staff turnover and a representative who would not call back constituents who needed her.
Often, Nixon noted, Daniels might not be in the city, instead “somewhere preaching.”
And even the incumbent’s Jacksonville office was, Nixon noted, in City Hall … an accommodation reached after Republican Mayor Lenny Curry offered office space in the building to legislators who might prefer that to a spot in their own districts.
Meanwhile, those who need the kind of help a state Representative can provide, Nixon notes, have sometimes had to rely on Rep. Tracie Davis and Sen. Audrey Gibson, two elected officials with a more traditionalist sense of how a legislative office operated.
Meanwhile, Nixon notes Daniels’ failure to move “substantial legislation” for District 14 in her four years, noting that the incumbent also sided with the Mayor in opposing a new tax for school capital needs until state law changed to require an equal share to charter schools.
“The legislator does not listen to the will of the people in the district,” said Nixon, who has been “part of the district all [her] adult life.”
HD 14 is seeing outside interest on both sides. Daniels has been funded by political committees linked to powerful House Republican Reps. Travis Cummings and Paul Renner. Nixon has scored backing from a variety of endorsers ranging from liberal fighter Rep. Anna Eskamani to the more status-quo Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
Nixon, addressing her coalition of support, says it comes down to a shared desire for “ethical, consistent, trustworthy leadership.”
Nixon, who had the cash on hand advantage as of May 12 (roughly $60,000 to $49,000) raised $40,000 total in June. The incumbent is going to have to find a way to answer this challenge.