Intra-party wars continue for Jacksonville Democrats, with a state legislator backing another’s primary challenger, further bucking what was already fragile party unity.
Daniels and three of her sons made maximum $1,000 contributions to Smith’s campaign late in June, comprising $4,000 of the $13,278 raised by Smith, whose campaign is managed by a former Daniels legislative aide who flirted with a 2018 campaign against Davis for the same seat.
The only other maximum donation came from John Kirtley of Step Up for Students.
Step Up For Students is not involved however, claims a spokesperson: “As a 501(c)(3), Step Up is prohibited by law from contributing to political campaigns or endorsing political candidates. Thus, Step Up is not backing Kim Daniels, or any candidate for office.”
Smith, despite robust late-June fundraising, is still well behind Davis, who has over $48,000 cash on hand through June 26, with nearly $14,000 raised between June 13 and 26.
Davis’ last fundraising report showed backing from a diverse array of donors, ranging from the Fraternal Order of Police to a collection of prominent local trial lawyers, suggesting that moves to remove Davis may have to be funded and backed by outside players.
Nixon, who raised over $46,000 between June 1 and 26, has over $72,000 on hand. Trial lawyers, labor unions, and Ruth’s List were among the donors during that span of time, as well as Sen. Audrey Gibson‘s political committee.
However, it is Daniels who now has the cash on hand edge, with nearly $90,000 at her disposal after raising $40,000 between June 13 and 26, with $32,000 of that coming from Daniels’ own personal finances. A minister by trade, Daniels has often slid money in and out of her campaign reports over the years.
Former Republican Ambassador John Rood and his Vestcor Company each maxed out contributions, but for Daniels, these continue a trend of Republican donations to her campaign, a potential optics issue given that many Democrats are working to eliminate her from the Florida House.