Dean Black faces Emily Nunez in closed HD 15 GOP Primary

dean black desantis floatilla
Though a Democrat failed to qualify, a late write-in filing closed the Primary.

Despite Democrat Tammyette Thomas not qualifying for House District 15, the vote in the Republican Primary will be a closed one thanks to Jerry Steckloff qualifying as a write-in candidate after filing on June 13.

The race is between Dean Black, the Duval County Republican Party Chairman and heavy favorite, and Yulee’s Emily Nunez, a military veteran and retirement planning counselor.

Nunez has endorsements from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, state Rep. Anthony Sabatini and former U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, but those endorsements haven’t notably helped in closing the fundraising gap with Black.

Black essentially locked down most of the Nassau County GOP establishment in early May, when the campaign announced a fundraiser in which the host committee included Sheriff Bill Leeper, Clerk of Court John Crawford, Tax Collector John Drew and Property Appraiser Mike Hickox. Hosts from the city of Fernandina Beach included Mayor Mike Lednovich, Vice Mayor Len Kreger, and Commissioners Bradley Bean and David Sturges.

Joining them were Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gil Langley and Greg Cook, general manager for The Ritz-Carlton.

Black received $13,350 in May while spending around $5,747, concluding the month with around $104,554. Nunez raised $2,040 in May, but spent more than she brought in, doling out around $3,008 and entering June with around $26,022 on hand.

Black most recently helped organize the DeSantis flotilla event.

“Awesome day at the #DeSantisFloatilla in Jacksonville!” Black tweeted afterward. “Together we will re-elect our great Governor and flip Duval RED in 2022!”

The new HD 15 encompasses all of Nassau County, along with the western, northern and northeastern portions of Duval County.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


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