Jacksonville Democrat Kim Daniels has completed her second political resurrection, returning to represent Florida House District 14 after a two year absence.
No General Election is needed in the district after all.
As first reported by Jacksonville Today, Daniels’ write-in opponent, Patrice Wynette Jones, withdrew from the race. Her main effect as a candidate was to close the Democratic Primary, ensuring that Republicans and NPA voters could not participate in what ended up being the decisive election in the heavily Democratic district.
Daniels had 48% of the vote in August, dominating the competition. Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis had 33% of the vote. Mincy Pollock had just 15%, and Iris Hinton just 13%
Former Rep. Daniels had previously represented the district, losing the 2020 Primary to current Rep. Angie Nixon, who will now represent HD 13 after redistricting. Nixon drew statewide support in the Democratic Party as she trounced Daniels in what would be the decisive August Primary that year.
This time around, she had the benefit of a four-way field, and her usual recourse to self-funding, which amounted to nearly $90,000.
A political committee worked on Daniels’ behalf also, as it did in the 2020 race. The Florida Federation for Children PAC, which is Chaired by Step Up for Students founder John Kirtley, sent anti-Dennis mail during the stretch run of the Primary. Daniels benefited from GOP funding in 2020, and that followed in 2022.
The mail was sent out after a $23,000 donation from the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee on July 28. In August, the PAC got a $50,000 donation from Conservatives for Principled Leadership, a committee associated with Speaker-designate Paul Renner.
Unions backed Dennis, the JAX Chamber backed Pollock, but none of that mattered, as Daniels again showed that her brand of grassroots politics translates to Democrats in that area in a way outsiders don’t understand.
In 2020, statewide Democrats purged her from the Legislature.
Daniels, an evangelist by vocation, found herself on the other side of the culture wars from most of her caucus, as she backed socially conservative legislation, including a bill requiring parental consent for reproductive decisions. In a conversation during the 2020 Legislative Session with Florida Politics, she expressed frustration with the intraparty challenges, saying she voted with her party most of the time.
“Seems like 89% is not enough,” she said, vowing not to be “stroked” or “bullied” by Democrats, before making what turned out to be a fateful statement.
“I’m standing my ground. I have a right to be here. If they don’t like it,” Daniels said, “get a good opponent and send me home.”
Nixon did just that in 2020. But no one sent Daniels home in 2022. And there is no second version of Nixon poised to Primary Daniels, suggesting she is essentially safe in her seat through 2030 if she wants to keep it.
Daniels had briefly explored an attempt to return to the Jacksonville City Council, opening a campaign account and seeding it with $45,000, before abandoning that campaign for the House run.
She served one term as an at large Council member from 2011 to 2015, losing her re-election bid to Republican Anna Brosche, with Democrats and Independents driving Brosche’s margin in protest of Daniels’ brand of social conservatism.