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Issue 3: Florida's Worst Democrat is Back
Controversial former State Rep Kim Daniels has filed to run for office - again
Kim Daniels is back
Some fun/horrifying news broke a few days ago. Kim Daniels, the WORST DEMOCRAT IN FLORIDA, is running for Jacksonville City Council. Who is Kim Daniels? She is a former state representative and Jacksonville commissioner. During her tenure, she amassed a long list of controversial statements and actions. In addition to being an elected official, Daniels is also a pastor at her own church. Daniels is often cited as one of the most conservative elected Democrats in modern Florida, but its not conservativism as much as it is insanity.
Daniels is so notorious that in 2018 I dedicated an entire article to her - delving into her insanity and her electoral career. This newsletter will cover the basics, but I highly recommend clicking the link for even more details.
Some highlights include
She posted on Facebook that Hurricane Irma hitting Florida in 2017 was “God’s will” and claimed that prophets like herself were warned ahead of time about the danger.
She has called for re-instituting prayer and religious expression in schools
She was adamantly opposed to a Human Rights Ordinance while on the JAX city council, and has preached against homosexuality for years
She has “performed exorcisms” at her church
Was face of GOP effort to put “In God We Trust” in Schools – and claimed that such moves would deter school shootings (said shortly after the Parkland massacre).
She has referred to homosexuality as an “army of darkness” and says witchcraft comes with being homosexual. Her books also include prayers for LGBT people to use to “convert away from homosexuality.”
She says she won’t buy candy during Halloween time because it is “tainted by demons”
And the two all-time worst quotes,
“I thank God for slavery. If it wasn’t for slavery, I might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree.”
“You can talk about the Holocaust, but the Jews own everything!
And on top of ALL that, she is horribly corrupt
Routinely failed to disclose numerous properties and income in Financial disclosures during time on city council.
A bitter divorce a few years ago revealed how Kim Daniels’ church improperly spent money and the church was used for personal enrichment. Homes she and her husband lived in were owned by the church but not properly disclosed. This whole article from the link is a wild ride and impossible to sum up here.
She has received over $200,000 in income from her ministry service
Transferred more than $1.3 million in property from herself to her church to make it tax exempt
Florida Ethics Commission has found probably cause that she didn’t properly list assets/debts on financial disclosure forms
Daniels is a bigoted nutcase who is almost surely destined for jail down the line. Its amazing she has been elected as often as she has.
Daniels’ Path to Office
Kim Daniels was first elected to an at-large City Council post in 2011, the same day Democrat Alvin Brown won the Mayoral position. Daniels and Brown were both more socially-conservative, African-American politicians. Daniels won her race thanks to a solid showing in the African-American community. She also over-performed Brown in the rural, conservative white areas of the county. She did, however, under-perform in liberal white areas like Riverside.
Daniels’ conservativism was already known in 2011, but it came to a head in the four years she was on the council. As the council debated a Human Rights Ordinance, something backed by liberal whites and the business community, Daniels made her opposition known and was a vocal critic of the LGBT community. Brown also did little to elevate the ordinance, and as a result neither got support from LGBT groups; who instead spent the 2015 elections pushing a slate of pro-HRO candidates. Daniels would go on to lose re-election in 2015 to a pro-HRO Republican, Anna Brosche. Brown would also lose re-election; albeit by a narrower margin.
Daniels lost liberal communities like Riverside, and LGBT advocates and allies cheered her loss. The new city council would approve a Human Rights Ordinance.
Ethical scandals and her controversial opinions doomed her re-election, but she still had a base of support. On top of that, Daniels had received heavy financial backing from conservative groups in her 2015 loss. These ties would continue as she looked to run for the state house. In 2016, she opted to run for the open HD-14; which was a majority-black seat located in the Northwest end of the county. Daniels’ name-ID allowed her to pull off a narrow 36% plurality.
Once in the house, Daniels was permanently at odds with the Democratic caucus. She was the go-to Democrat the GOP would use to push a social conservative measure. Daniels faced a primary challenge in 2018 from Jacksonville School Board Chair Paula Wright. Daniels, however, benefitted from financial backing from conservative groups as well as the fact the primary was open to all voters (since no one qualified for the general). This meant the 28% or so of Republicans in the district could vote for Daniels on the August ballot. Wright, meanwhile, did not get the liberal money backing she needed to counter the right-wing money going to Daniels. In the end, Wright lost by 10%.
Nothing changed in the two years that followed. Daniels remained a thorn in the side for the Democrats. However, 2020 saw a much more vocal movement to oust her. Daniels openly feuded with several Democratic members of the legislature as she backed abortion restrictions the GOP pushed through. Angie Nixon filed to primary Daniels, and got plenty of Democratic backing. This time the primary was closed. Nixon had much more backing than Wright had two years earlier and it showed in the results - she ousted Daniels by almost 20 points.
That same day, HD-13 (downtown) Democrat Tracie Davis won her primary re-nomination. Davis was being challenged by a Daniels-backed opponent, Cynthia Smith.
After her loss in the August primary, Daniels endorsed Republican Steve Bovo in the Miami-Dade Mayoral runoff. Bovo, who was all-in on Trump, was trying to court conservative black/Caribbean voters against liberal Democrat Daniella Levine Cava. The effort failed, and Cava used Daniels’ past statements to attack Bovo.
Cava did under-perform Biden in the African-American community - but Bovo was likely aided by the lack of party ID on the mayoral ballots.
Daniels made it clear she would run for something else after she lost her house primary. Her backing Bovo was another way to stay cozy with Republicans and ensure future bids would have GOP cash.
Returning to City Politics?
Daniels is now filed to run for Jacksonville City Council District 10. This is an African-American district located in the west end of the county.
Daniels’ race won’t be up until 2023; giving her plenty of time to change course. However, this appears to be her plan at the moment. Florida Democrats will be relieved if she doesn’t run for State Senate - of course their gain may be Jacksonville’s loss. Its been an open secret that Daniels and HD-13’s Tracie Davis have eyes on SD-6, the plurality-black, safe-DEM senate seat located in Jacksonville
Daniels would surely receive major GOP-money in such a race; with the right-wing eager to get a conservative Democrat into the seat. Does this mean Daniels has opted not to run for state senate? It appears so, but nothing is set in stone. If Daniels does opt to skip the Senate race, it will likely save Florida Democrats and liberal groups a great deal of time and money that otherwise would be invested in preventing her victory.
We will just have to wait and see if Daniels sticks to her current plans.