‘Major bundler’ looks to back April Carney primary challenge to John Rutherford

Duval County School Board member April Carney has been approached to challenge the perennial Congressman in the GOP Primary.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford was one of three Florida Republicans who wouldn’t vote for Ohio’s Jim Jordan for U.S. House Speaker.

It turns out that his failure to back the Freedom Caucus Republican may lead to the most serious Primary challenge for the four-term Republican since he won the Republican nomination in 2016 against a crowded field.

Duval County School Board member April Carney tells Florida Politics that a “major bundler” has reached out to her to gauge her interest in mounting a Primary challenge to the 71-year-old former Jacksonville Sheriff.

Carney spoke out on the “X” social media platform after Rutherford’s vote, demanding to know his rationale.

“I’m trying really hard to understand why my Republican Congressman would put control of the House in serious jeopardy. Your constituents would like an explanation,” she posted at 3:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Asked about the post, Carney told us she was “disappointed he continues to disregard the opinions of his constituents.”

Asked about how interested she was in running for Congress, Carney demurred, saying she’s “so busy with school board” that she “honestly (has) no idea.”

The Congressman has been actively fundraising, despite having only nominal opposition so far in the form of perennial candidate Gary Koniz.

In Q3 of this year, Rutherford raised nearly $125,000 and had nearly $390,000 banked as of the end of September.

Of the new money, $27,225 came from individuals, $65,000 from political committees, and $32,392 from other authorized committees.

It’s worth noting that despite Rutherford’s war chest, it’s Carney who seems to be closest to DeSantis. She was on the host committee for a recent Duval County fundraising event for his presidential campaign, and he endorsed her in 2022’s School Board race.

Meanwhile, Rutherford backed Adam Putnam in the Primary against DeSantis back in 2018.

Rutherford did not offer comment when we texted him about the potential challenge on Tuesday evening before publication.

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


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  • MH/Duuuval

    October 18, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    I emailed MC Rutherford to thank him for taking a stand against the great grandstander Gym who has never had a piece of legislation make it into law. NEVER.

    Gym and April are good at carping but otherwise have never had an original idea and are unable to work in synch with their respective parties. Total Trump worshippers.

  • John S Moran

    October 18, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    Rutherford voted to put Liz Cheney into leadership RINO. Needs to go!

  • Pach E. Derm

    October 19, 2023 at 10:13 am

    Whoever told Carney that making this statement was a good idea needs to be fired.

    Her once bright future is now significantly tarnished

    No matter his faults, Rutherford will win a primary due to having more money and the backing of the NRCC. If Carney and her advisors did a quick look at how many R incumbents have been primaried and beaten they would see just how difficult a task it is.

    All that she has accomplished with this statement is telling her constituents that she wants something other than what she was elected to do and that she has extraordinarily poor judgement in thinking that anyone other than a narrow few actually care.

  • Stephen, Emperor of Duval

    October 20, 2023 at 8:19 am

    Anyone who primaries Rutherford will have my and my wifes’ support after his failure to support the majority of Republican efforts.
    Particularly opposing Jim Jordan is the killer now. It impairs the impeachment of FJB.

    Also note Rutherford took dirty money from FTX. Just another grifter who works in his OWN interest.

Comments are closed.


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