Rebekah Jones, Peggy Schiller face off in CD 1 Democratic Primary

Questions surrounded whether Jones could be on the ballot.

The race to face U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz in the Nov. 8 General Election for Florida’s 1st Congressional District heated up in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 23 Primary Election as Democrat Peggy Schiller sued Leon County Circuit Court to remove Rebekah Jones from the ballot.

A judge disqualified Jones from the ballot, saying she couldn’t appear as a Democrat because she hadn’t been registered as one for a year before qualifying, but a judge granted a stay after she appealed the ruling.

Jones, a former data scientist with the Florida Department of Health, made national headlines when she was fired for refusing to manipulate COVID-19 data. In December 2020 state law enforcement agents raided her home. That’s when Jones said she decided to run for office.

“Seeing guns pointed at my kids woke me up to the reality that no one is looking out for us, none of these politicians are losing sleep over our struggles,” she said.

Jones says there isn’t one single issue that “isn’t connected in some way to a dozen other issues needing (to be) fixed in Northwest Florida.”

Affordable housing, environment, infrastructure, and education are high up on the list of priorities for people here,” Jones said. “Depressed economics impacts each of those issues, though — low wages, high rent, lack of respect for our school staff and teachers all factor into a lower standard of living here. You have to tackle all of those issues, otherwise, you’re just plugging holes in a sinking ship without dealing with why the holes keep popping up to begin with.”

Schiller currently serves as the Voter Protection Team Leader and Vice Chair of the Democratic Executive Committee in Walton County.

On her campaign website, Schiller describes herself as “a selfless advocate who understands the importance of listening to varying viewpoints, working to reach compromise, and taking action for others.”

Schiller worked as a corporate lawyer in New York before starting a small business with her husband.

The winner of the Democratic Primary will likely face Gaetz, who is up against Marine Corps veteran Mark Lombardo in the Republican Primary.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.


  • Dan Goldwasser

    August 21, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    “but a judge ruled in Jones’ favor after she appealed the ruling”

    This is false. The appeals court approved a motion to stay the lower court ruling but have NOT ruled on the appeal.

    • Pancho Villar

      August 22, 2022 at 11:49 am

      Good point. The question of whether Jones’ candidacy complies with the law remains.

  • Elliott Offen

    August 21, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Go Jones.

    • Impeach Biden

      August 22, 2022 at 7:16 am

      Birds of a feather flock together. Of course the Corsin / Offen comedy show supports the highly unstable Jones. See the sentence above.

    • just sayin

      August 22, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      Are you kidding me? She’s the worst candidate you could put forward to beat Gaetz. She has almost as many skeletons in the closet as he does.

  • Go Home Peggy

    August 21, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Schiller is a Qanon plant. rich bitch. selfless my ass and had zero chance against gaetz and Jones. go home Peggy. you don’t even live here

Comments are closed.


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