Matthew Collins exits HD 11 race, backs Dean Black
Dean Black.

Black hasn't entered the race yet, but he's raising money like a candidate.

Jacksonville Beach Republican Matthew Collins ended his campaign for House District 11 and threw his support behind Dean Black on Monday.

Collins was one of three Republicans who had filed initial paperwork to run for the seat currently held by Rep. Cord Byrd, who is term-limited and running for Senate. Still standing are Bo Bridges of Hilliard and Heath Brockwell, also of Jacksonville Beach.

But Black, the chair of the Duval County Republican Party, has telegraphed his interest in the seat. Collins said if Black files, he’s the best pick for the Nassau- and Duval-based district.

“While my campaign for HD 11 is at an end, I’m encouraged that fellow patriot Dean Black is considering a run,” Collins said in a statement. “As an Air Force veteran, rancher and businessman, I know Dean is the man for the job! I’m proud to join with conservatives across Northeast Florida in supporting his prospective run and will be one of Dean’s strongest supporters on the campaign trail.”

Though he does not have an official campaign account, Black has been pulling in a significant amount of cash through an affiliated political committee, True Conservatives.

He tacked on another $20,701 in July, putting him at about $162,000 raised. The account has $154,376 in the bank that, if he enters the race as expected, he could use to carry his campaign through a competitive GOP primary.

The July finance report was topped by a $10,000 check from Barber & Associates and a $5,000 contribution from Jacksonville resident Scott R. Mackenzie, who runs a nonprofit that funds research into cancer and other diseases. Also of note was a $1,000 check from Rep. Wyman Duggan.

Duggan joins a long list of supporters from Northeast Florida who have contributed early to Black’s committee, including Jacksonville Beach Council members Fernando Meza, Cory Nichols, Dan Janson, and Chet Stokes, Duval County Clerk of Court Jody Phillips, St. Johns County Clerk of Court Brandon Patty, former Rep. Jay Fant, Ronnie Fussell, Judson Sapp, Husein Cumber, Bill Watson, Deno Hicks and a political committee affiliated with U.S. Rep. John Rutherford.

Of the two current candidates, Brockwell is the only one actively raising money. He had not turned in his July finance report as of Monday afternoon, though he had raised $24,000 as of June 30 and had about $19,600 on hand.  Hodges has raised $105, all of it in February.

HD 11 is a safe Republican seat. However, district lines are set to be redrawn ahead of the 2022 election.

Drew Wilson

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.

One comment

  • AB Native

    August 9, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Does Dean even know how to get to the district? We all know that he doesn’t live here.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn