One stalwart member of the local Republican Party has blasted the current head of the local party for the campaign to win a seat in the Florida House.
Dean Black defeated Emily Nunez nearly 2-1 in the Republican primary Aug. 23, but the tenor of the campaign he ran shocked some observers.
Black repeatedly referred to Nunez as “crooked.”
Robin Lumb, a former city councilman and member of the Republican Executive Committee, wrote other committee members saying Black’s conduct “brought discredit on the Republican Party he was elected to lead.”
Lumb, who was local party chairman 2014-2015, supported Black when Black ran for the chairman’s position in 2018.
But Black’s campaign vs. Nunez was a classic example of the “politics of personal destruction,” Lumb said.
Lumb did not support Nunez.
The references to Nunez as crooked were based on a complaint by a Black supporter that alleged three violations of Florida election law. The allegations have not been verified.
Black called Nunez a “carpetbagger” from “Jacksonville’s urban core.”
Nunez is a former Marine Corps officer, who is from Northeast Florida and graduated from a Jacksonville high school. The urban core reference is a puzzle.
Nunez was called an “anti De-Santis liberal.” Nunez is a conservative Republican who never has criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis. She is pro-life and supports the Second Amendment and school choice.
No one with that kind of outlook can fairly be called a liberal.
Although complaints to the election commission are required to be kept confidential until they are resolved, someone leaked the information to the media.
Observers say Black’s “scorched earth” campaign was driven by two local power brokers and lobbyists who have helped elect Mayor Lenny Curry and a majority of the City Council. They are known for taking no prisoners.
But the tactics in this case were completely unnecessary. Black was well financed and better known and in all probability would have beaten Nunez even with a low-key campaign.
Lumb said Black should apologize for his actions. Black said he is focused on defeating Democrats and is not interested in redoing the primary. “There’s nothing more basic than to fight vigorously in a primary race,” Black told Eye on Jacksonville.
Black said Nunez started it. She obtained a copy of the record of his wife being arrested 24 years ago during a domestic dispute. (They are still married, with five children.) The arrest was then mentioned in social media by a Nunez supporter – and then Black went negative.
The trouble with such squabbles in they help Democrats and the media, who then write about “circular firing squads” and other such oft-used tropes. Democrats would have people believe Democrats never speak ill of anyone.
Black still faces a Democrat write-in on the general election ballot, but a win should be a mere formality.