Last-minute shakeups will ensure an active August Primary season in Jacksonville’s two Democratic House seats.
In House District 13, Rep. Angie Nixon drew a Primary challenge Friday on the last day of Qualifying, from a candidate who bills herself as a “prophetess.”
Delaine Smith, a realtor who has served as a real estate investigator for the state of Florida, will run in House District 13, facing off against Nixon.
Nixon currently represents House District 14, and she has roughly $43,000 on hand in her campaign account.
She won election in 2020, defeating former state Rep. Kim Daniels, who is attempting a comeback of her own, in HD 14, when she decided on Friday to abandon a bid for Jacksonville City Council and run for a third term in the Legislature.
She said she wasn’t done in politics after losing two years ago, and she meant it.
Daniels will join a crowded field. Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis, Iris Hinton, and Mincy Pollock also qualified as Democrats.
Dennis has presented as the front-runner in this HD 14 field.
He had a roughly two-to-one edge in cash-on-hand at the end of May over Pollock, with over $60,000 between his campaign account and his political committee. Hinton had not raised any money before qualifying.
If Daniels returns to Tallahassee, it could create issues for Democrats. Daniels broke with the party on certain issues, most memorably by co-sponsoring a bill requiring parental consent for youth abortions that passed this year.
Daniels has also taken fire for statements she made in her day job as an evangelist, including, but not limited to, thanking God for slavery.
But in 2016, when she won a crowded primary to get the nomination, and in 2018, when she beat a former School Board chair in an open primary, she escaped.
Nixon defeated her by roughly 20 points in 2020, but in a crowded Primary, Daniels may be more formidable. However, this race comes after Daniels said she was “tired of struggling with Democrats” in the wake of the 2020 defeat.
There is some alliance between Daniels and Nixon’s new challenger. Smith calls former Rep. Daniels a “good friend,” but says she wants a positive campaign against Nixon. If the 2020 Daniels/Nixon race is any indication, there won’t be much positive campaigning between now and August.
Both the HD 13 and 14 Primaries will be closed to non-Democrats. Third-party candidate LaCiara Masline has qualified in HD 13, while Write-in Patrice Wynette Jones qualified in HD 14.