Duval GOP civil war continues with call for financial audit

Heated mayoral race spills over into intra-party politics.

With Duval County Republican Party Chair Dean Black in Tallahassee for Special Session, enemies closer to home are attempting a coup.

A group of intraparty activists led by former Chair Robin Lumb are demanding an audit of the local GOP, taking specific issue with more than $930,000 in payments to political consultants currently engaged by Daniel Davis’ mayoral campaign.

Davis is one of four Republicans running in the March election for Mayor, and former chair Lumb, who helped to orchestrate the party’s backing of Lenny Curry eight years ago, backs LeAnna Gutierrez Cumber.

“There are serious problems with how the Republican Party of Duval County and its Chairman, Dean Black, are spending party funds,” Lumb contended.

Lumb charges that the Duval GOP committee served as a pass-through account, facilitating the payments with a $950,000 donation from the political committee “A Safer Jacksonville for All,” which supported Sheriff T.K. Waters‘ candidacy. He asserts the money went to On Target Messaging (founded by strategist Alexander Pantinakis) and Flexpoint Media, the latter of which has done more than $77 million in recent business as a media buyer for the Republican Party of Florida and the political operation of Ron DeSantis with more ancillary local business.

“The assumption is that these funds were meant to be spent on the Sheriff’s race. But until we receive a detailed accounting from these consultants, one that’s been verified by an outside audit, we won’t know how the money was used,” Lumb contended, adding that the moves “managed to enrich the two consultants who are now running Daniel Davis’s campaign for Mayor.”

Black rejects the claims made by Lumb, who has become a frequent critic in recent months.

“Mr. Lumb’s comments are an attempt to elevate his preferred candidate in the Republican Primary for Mayor. The Duval GOP will remain neutral in primaries. The expenses in question were used to elect our Republican nominee, Sheriff TK Waters, over Democrat Lakesha Burton. We look forward to electing more of our Republican nominees this spring – no matter who they might be.”

The press release went on to blast the “scorched earth” campaign perpetrated by On Target Messaging and FlexPoint Media against Republicans Kiyan Michael, Lake Ray, Christina Meredith and Emily Nunez, Black’s Republican opponent during the 2022 Republican primary. Only Michael, endorsed by DeSantis, survived the Primary.

Lumb ran Meredith’s campaign against Jessica Baker, whose husband Tim Baker is one of the excoriated consultants. Baker lambasted Lumb after being presented with the allegations.

“Robin Lumb is a pathetic old man desperately searching for relevance. It’s sad, really. I don’t understand his bizarre obsession with my family and I. I’d figure he’d be busy spending the nearly $1m he was paid by taxpayers for 7 years of work that he has nothing to show for,” Baker said, referring to Lumb’s tenure as a policy director in the Lenny Curry administration.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Joe Corsin

    February 7, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    The hogs are tearing each other’s eyeballs out to become the next empty suit.

  • TeamNFL

    February 7, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Mr Baker – pot calling kettle- you are the one who is insatiable for power and relevance.

    “By their fruits you shall k-n-o-w them.”

    Age doesn’t matter, character does. Your attack on Mr. Lumb and Duval REC members is a gaslighting technique similar to the dishonest attack fliers you mail out on behalf of your candidates against their opponents.

    You’ve been in Jacksonville a while, but are a transplant; a political neophyte who doesn’t respect or understand the efforts of those who have been in the trenches fighting the fight for decades- defending the R platform and ideals, in Jax or throughout Team NFL. We are a city team. You are not a conservative nor a team player, but prefer to act in the role of local (R) dictator, calling the strategies and shots, ingratiating and controlling all the candidates or office holders who (unfortunately) pay you, and thus attempt to control future offices via their endorsements…Speaking of “sad.”

    Since you’ve been Mayor Curry’s consultant and approved Mr Lumb being his Policy Director for 7 years, perhaps you’re right; the mayor has nothing to show for his 8 years, except $ millions he transferred to the Chamber (cost/benefit = zero to the community) & the mayor owns the biggest scandal ever committed in Jacksonville history – Sale of the JEA , and his fiscal legacy….the most tax/fee assessing Republican mayor, also to be remembered for acting ‘Cheerleader in Chief’ literally and fiscally for Mr. Khan, and the Chamber’s agenda, rather than addressing the needs of the city and the people of Jacksonville.

    • Ted M

      February 7, 2023 at 4:25 pm


  • Lonnie

    February 7, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    TeamNFL is correct AND there is so much more for which Baker should be held accountable from the JEA scam. He and Lenny should be locked up for their attempted crimes and libeling and slandering good people and public servants. Zahn needs to flip. Wannamacher, too. And Dykes.,

  • Jefferson

    February 8, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Article VI, Section 8 of the RPOF Model Constitution clearly states that, “The treasurer of the county executive committee shall maintain accurate records evidencing receipt and disbursement of all party funds received by
    the party, and such records shall be publicly audited at the end of each calendar year and a copy of such audit filed with the supervisor of elections and the State Executive Committee prior to April 1st of the ensuing year.”

    Not really sure what Black’s objection to following the constitution are unless of course something is amiss.

  • UH OH

    February 8, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Jefferson is correct. What is Dean Black and Alexander Pantinakis hiding? Has anyone looked that up? I bet the donors don’t know that money went from TK Waters PAC to Alexander Pantinakis’ bank account.

  • MH/Duuval

    February 8, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    Baker is insidious. Getting his wife elected to the Florida House is his latest coup.

Comments are closed.


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