Conservative watchdog files complaint against U.S. Senate candidate Keith Gross

keith Gross copy
Americans for Public Trust says the Republican Senate candidate is using his campaign to sell a new book.

A conservative watchdog group in Washington says the Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Rick Scott used his campaign to sell books.

Americans for Public Trust intends to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) targeting Keith Gross, a Melbourne lawyer running in Florida’s GOP Primary for U.S. Senate.

The complaint, against Gross and campaign Treasurer Jason Boles, takes issue with the campaign promoting Gross’ book, “Dirt Roads to Runways.”

“It is troubling that any politician would use campaign resources to line his own pockets,” said Caitlin Sutherland, Americans for Public Trust Executive Director. “The FEC should thoroughly investigate this matter to ensure the public has confidence in our elections.”

The book was just published in February by Big Red Publishing, some 10 months after Gross entered the Senate race.

A few weeks after the book hit the market, Gross promoted the book, and a foreword by Donald Trump ally Roger Stone, on his campaign’s X account.

“Folks I’m happy to announce my book has been released,” Gross posted. “Thanks to Roger Stone for writing a very kind forward to this book about my life, growing up in rural Florida and my vision for how we get America back to the Constitutional vision of its founding.”

That post links back to the campaign website, where Gross promises a signed copy of the book in exchange for a donation to the Senate campaign.

The complaint notes that the social media post kicked off a series of links where the book could be purchased outright from various retailers.

The promotion of the book, according to the Americans for Public Trust complaint, violates campaign finance laws, which limits candidates who mention a book to post just a “single sentence, or, at most, two sentences of promotional material about a candidate’s book.”

The watchdog group calls for the FEC to investigate and appropriately sanction Gross’ campaign for the violation, and to take action to make sure Gross complies with the law in the future.

Americans for Public Trust, a nonpartisan watchdog, has regularly filed complaints and publicized campaign activity. Most often, the group has taken action involving Democratic groups, like the Montana-based Last Best Place PAC, and liberal donors like George Soros.

Screenshot of a dedicated portion of Keith’ Gross promoting his book.

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].


  • Michael K

    March 25, 2024 at 8:15 am

    Is this anything like the book that DeSantis wrote and peddled to launch his failed presidential bid? Asking for a friend.

    • just sayin

      March 25, 2024 at 10:58 am

      No, it’s more like Obama’s The Audacity of Hope. Except fewer made-up anecdotes, hopefully.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 25, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    This guy just got it backwards. You’re supposed to write a book to sell your campaign, not the other way around.

    Maybe he already had some money and maybe his book is really a book, not just the usual vehicle for conversion without theft.

Comments are closed.


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