Florida GOP suspends St. Johns County Chair Blake Paterson

Blake Paterson
A Vice Chair the state party said was wrongly suspended now takes over as acting Chair.

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) has removed the St. Johns County GOP Chair.

State Chair Evan Power informed Blake Paterson in an email that he was removed, effective immediately, as both the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee (REC) Chair and as a precinct committeeman. His duties will temporarily be assumed by Jamie Parham, a county GOP Vice Chair whom the party said Paterson wrongly suspended months ago.

“You are prohibited from holding any position within the St. Johns GOP, the RPOF, or any RPOF chartered club in St. Johns County for a period of two (2) years,” Power wrote. “As such, you are also not eligible to be a member of the RPOF State Executive Committee, the RPOF State Executive Board, nor hold any position within a RPOF Congressional District Caucus for two (2) years.”

Paterson has been under fire for disparaging local GOP candidates and officials. A report by the state party’s Grievance Committee details specific instances where Paterson was accused of using his authority as county Chairman for personal grudges.

The report said Paterson allowed the St. Johns GOP’s official social media “to disparage Republican elected officials and promote and support their opponents without an endorsement of the REC,” a violation of state party rules.

It also said Paterson suspended Parham, and later called police to prohibit Parham from attending multiple REC meetings.

“In the estimation of the Grievance Committee this is only the tip of the iceberg as it pertains to the problems in St. Johns County and the inability of Mr. Paterson to adequately perform his role as Chairman,” the grievance report reads. “The number of grievances this Committee has received from one County alone — St. Johns — is indicative of a failure of leadership at the top.”

The report said Paterson blamed the social media posts on Natalie Lewis, who chaired an ad hoc social media committee for the party, but accepted blame as party Chair. Paterson also said the decision to suspend Parham has been made by the entire REC, but state party rules don’t allow a vote without notice on suspending an officer elected to a county post.

The Grievance Committee called the violations “egregious” and unanimously recommended his suspension.

“The St. Johns REC is broken. And while Mr. Paterson may not be responsible for everything that is wrong with the REC, as Chairman, he is responsible for much,” the report reads.

“But with responsibility also comes accountability. And that is the role of the Grievance Committee under the RPOF Rules, to recommend solutions to fix disputes between members of a county REC when such dispute cannot be resolved by the members of the REC. Here, we find such a serious situation that demands the RPOF’s attention.”

The report also suggested the specific grievances for which Paterson was suspended were the “tip of the iceberg.”

Paterson notably has made headlines for controversial remarks, like allegedly telling a Black Republican he could not win a House seat.

With Paterson suspended, the role of Acting Chair falls to Parham, but Power directed that an election be held within 60 days to fill the remainder of Paterson’s term.

The county REC website still lists Paterson as Chair and Parham as Vice Chair.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • It's Complicated

    March 14, 2024 at 11:47 am

    The environment of many county RECs and DECs are as political as it gets. “All politics is local starts,” there.

  • Michael Gold

    March 14, 2024 at 4:50 pm

    Finally, some long overdue relief!

  • Doris Spits

    March 14, 2024 at 5:07 pm

    Patterson also actively blocked membership

  • Jackie juicy white

    March 15, 2024 at 7:07 am

    I was hoping blindly following Patterson would allow me to profit by selling my goods at the gop headquarters and get me paid campaign manager gigs because I’m always telling everyone I’m a campaign manager. I want an apology

  • Dianne dewdoo

    March 15, 2024 at 7:49 am

    As a district chair I told everyone the meeting was canceled. I don’t want to lose my power. I’ll follow anyone who gives me attention

  • Patti Walker

    March 15, 2024 at 10:06 am

    My prayers everyone in the SJC REC can work together as adults and move past this. The county is Republican, every local seat is yours to lose, and every seat that means anything to any of you will be decided in the primaries. Splitting votes will keep the incumbents in their positions. You have work to do. Put this behind you a move forward….peacefully.

    – A former SJC resident who still cares

  • Luke Shepherd

    March 15, 2024 at 10:25 am

    It would be helpful to know who the Republicans are that Mr. Paterson is accused of allowing to be disparaged on the party’s social media site.

    • Bob

      March 17, 2024 at 1:59 pm

      That’s not even an official social media account of the SJC GOP. Just some far right troll on there putting out fascist propaganda for Orange Hitler.. who has been indicted 90 plus times for felonies.

      • Patti Walker

        March 17, 2024 at 6:12 pm

        Dude…get on the Trump Train, or stop calling yourself a conservative. His policies worked, we were all better off, and everyone knows the indictments are a witch-hunt. Man up!!

    • Ted Lasso

      March 17, 2024 at 2:45 pm

      Whoever was posting on his behalf lied and said that Mitch McConnell was a Democrat so there’s that. That’s what happens when you have a bunch of fascists and idiots in your so called political party.

      • Luke Shepherd

        March 17, 2024 at 9:41 pm

        Thanks for the info, Ted. The reported should have included that in his story.

  • Gerri Buttcannon

    March 15, 2024 at 10:35 am

    As a smelly smiker, I fire cannons at all patriots that walk near me. My leader has now been captured and I’m alone to cry with my whine. BP I will miss you.

  • Lying Thomson

    March 15, 2024 at 12:47 pm

    I’m willing to sell my soul to be on the School board. I look the other way when rules and laws are broken. Blake said he’ll get me elected so I’ll support him. I’m sneaky and untruthful

  • Patti Walker

    March 15, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    Ok…I’ll say it…Can you jokesters who call yourselves Republicans PLEASE stop with these ridiculous juvenile comments. There is zero positive that can come from this.
    – PJW

  • Die Linke

    March 17, 2024 at 12:07 pm

    That Parham is an anarchist with the intelligence less than that of an ape. The party suffers because of all the bad ideology and anarchist sympathies. Basically a worthless circus because after all the cops run the whole county. The SJC just exists to protect people with money by allowing them to keep as much of it as humanly possible while everyone else is simply exploited by the hogs. Pretty much cultural rot.

  • Roger S

    March 19, 2024 at 3:29 pm

    Stafford Jones strikes again. The Grievance committee is just a bunch of Trump hunters. Laura Loomer is needed STAT!

  • Blake Patterson

    March 19, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    The Trump clowns and Tea Party anarchists are behind all of this. I’m voting for Joe Biden in 2024.

  • Truth Teller

    March 20, 2024 at 8:18 am

    Jamie Parham and company loudly disrupted nearly every REC meeting after Paterson was elected, but they deny this fact. People who attended the meetings know the truth. They witnessed their behavior. Bottom line: Parham was a sore loser about the election of Chair going to Paterson and not to his next door neighbor, Johnny Coe Counts.

    What caused Paterson’s removal was his lack of oversight on the REC’s social media page which openly endorsed certain Republican candidates – an error he admitted to when it was brought to his attention by the RPOF who did not issue any warnings before they removed him, but instead let the the violations in social media pile up.

    Now, RPOF is controlling Parham whose first action was to cancel plans (conceived in Paterson’s term) to proceed with endorsements. Parham’s cancellation of endorsement plans is a violation of rules. RPOF wants only incumbent commissioners to be endorsed, not the grass roots candidates challenging them. So far, Parham is helping the RPOF and the incumbents who are overdeveloping St. Johns County and making it the fastest-growing in the state.

    (The crude, personal attacks from Parham’s supporters on this page typify what Paterson and REC members were subjected to during REC meetings while Paterson was chair.)

  • Patti Walker

    March 20, 2024 at 8:37 am

    I’m not sure you realize that Jamie Parham and the other America First conservatives are supporting the exact same candidates for commissioner that you are. What is the great divide about??

  • Truth Kelly

    March 20, 2024 at 9:05 am

    The filthy comments on this post under fake names show exactly what Dr Patterson and all of us have been subjected to with Jaime Parham and his hoods. They got what they wanted by budding up with the establishment who wanted to STOP endorsements by the REC membership. What was Parham’s first act as interim Chair? He announced “NO endorsements”. WHY? Because Parham and hoods are now beholding to the establishment. They were used and not smart enough to realize it. A hateful personal vendetta against Patterson drove these folks to sell their soul. Our membership voted to have endorsements. Parham and group were constantly belligerent and beyond awful. Well, your hate, lies and street thug tactics got you what you wanted. Patterson is gone. Stop whining and move on. The majority of our REC members know the real truth.

  • Tina F*cking Mason

    March 21, 2024 at 11:08 pm

    Some of you clearly do not understand that REC meetings are public, you cannot force people with disabilities to sit down. Law enforcement is not allowed to remove people from public spaces when they are not breaking any laws. You have no right to privacy from recording in a public space. You cannot constantly bang your gavel and silence everyone who disagrees with you, “You’re out of order. You’re out of order. You’re out of order.” and then the pack of hyena’s start squawking and snatching mic’s from people, dumping wine, spitting on people, blocking them from entering the door by slamming their bodies into people. You people are completely unprofessional and unhinged. Parham’s “disruption” was him holding Blake accountable for all of these things that were taking place, calling out lies and attempting to correct fraudulent minutes. Blakes’ actions caused the problem. He is a tyrant. He stated that Constitutional rights don’t apply when you’re around him and he doxes people who conceal carry. He’s a coward and a grifter with a history of bankrupting others. He’s a scam artist who spent over a hundred thousand dollars of REC money throwing parties for himself and his hyena club. Complete disgrace to our county organization. You all understand nothing about the rules, it’s laughable. GOP doesn’t endorse in primaries, never has. You need 2/3 membership, the ENTIRE membership, to vote for it and you didn’t have it. It was not done correctly, that’s what you’re missing. Again, you don’t interpret the rules, you interpret what’s Blake in the mood for? Blake and his board wasted so much time and money on throwing parties……over $50000 to host Kari Lake? You bought $100000 worth of her books. Spent over a thousand dollars on security for meetings, not because any of you were actually in danger or were afraid, but because you wanted to show your almighty power and punish the Vice Chair who dared disagree with you all or challenge you. Pathetic. Over 7000 a month to pay canvassers as you turn away volunteers. Epic failure, Blake. You will go down as the worst Chair in GOP history. You are nothing more than a grifter working to flip our county blue. You have intentionally done this and you constantly accuse of others of what you do. You’re lucky Parham isn’t the violent person you claim him to be. You are so insanely jealous of him you can’t see straight. He and the RPOF told you fifty million different ways that you were out of line, breaking rules and could not continue to do what you do. You made a choice to anyway, that shows an intentional sabotage of our organization and you know that’s what you did and the jig is up. March meeting went perfectly. It’s almost like the people who were actually the problem weren’t there. Go find a new scam. Heard petroleum was in style. Your beloved, do no wrong doctor and professional embezzler. Good riddance.

    • The Real Truth Teller

      March 22, 2024 at 2:31 pm

      The guys that’s going by Truth Teller is not me and he’s a bold face liar. I wouldn’t put it past him/her to be Diane Doo Doo or Lying Thompson.

  • Truth Kelly

    March 22, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    It’s amazing the distortion of facts on these posts. $100,00 for Kari Lake books? No way. Are you kidding? All of these numbers and details prove how ALL these facts are made up and beyond laughable. I don’t know who you are but you have NO idea what you’re talking about. All fundraiser budgets were approved by the membership. And certainly NOT even close to what you made up on your ridiculous fabricated facts. If you were a SJC REC member who attends our meetings where the budgets were voted on by membership, you would know this. I smell a smearing, no knowledge big trouble making RAT. Get your facts straight. You’re making a fool of yourself pretending to be in the know.

Comments are closed.


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