Party war is heating up

Don’t invite Dean Black and Robin Lumb to the same party – especially if it is the Republican Party.

The two Republicans have been fighting over the local party apparatus in recent years and it is getting bitter.

Lumb is a former member of the City Council, a former Duval GOP chairman and an 18-year veteran of the Republican Executive Committee, the governing body of the local Republican Party.

Black is the current chairman of the GOP and recently was elected to the Florida House.

Lumb also is part of Jax Integrity, a coalition of members of the Duval County Republican Executive Committee. They want an outside audit of the local party’s finances, which apparently would require a vote of the executive committee.

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

Although they seem to be at odds, Lumb supported Black when Black ran for chairman in 2020.

Last October, payments of more than $930,000 were made to consultants who currently work for the political action committee of Daniel Davis, who is a Republican candidate for mayor. The two consultants, previously worked for Black in his campaign for the House, are Tim Baker and Alexander Pantinakis.

Lumb says $950,000 was donated to the local GOP by William Stafford Jones of Gainesville. Jones also is the treasurer for Davis’s political action committee as well as for Black’s political action committee.

The money that went to Pantinakis and Baker was for “communications and advertising,” but Lumb wants more specific information. He says an outside audit is needed.

Lumb said there was no competitive bidding or any attempt to use other consultants. “The money was funneled directly into the pockets of Dean Black’s political allies. What the Duval GOP received in return is not known.”

Lumb also is not happy about what he calls the “scorched earth” campaigns conducted by Baker and Pantinakis against Republicans Kyan Michael, Lake Ray, Christina Meredith and Emily Nunez, who was Black’s Republican opponent during the 2022 Republican primary.

Lumb ran the campaign of Meredith, who was defeated by Baker’s wife.

Black said, “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 T.K. Waters, over Democrat Lakesha Burton. We look forward to electing more of our Republican nominees this spring – no matter who they might be.”

“No contributions were given to the Duval GOP for a specific purpose,” Black told Eye on Jacksonville.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


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