Going rogue: Duval GOP chair shreds Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott for bad campaign messaging
Florida Republicans are as well-positioned as could be imagined after a “blue wave” year, controlling both Senate seats and almost everything that matters in Tallahassee after a series of tight campaigns.
Republicans ran up margins in rural and exurban areas, and in part that was necessary because of Republican candidates underperforming in Jacksonville (Duval County), a historic Republican stronghold going back to the Jeb Bush days.
Statewide winners such as Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis took Ls in Duval, despite having devoted a lot of time to the campaign locally.
On Monday night, Duval GOP chairwoman Karyn Morton had a message for them: the countywide losses were their fault.
Losing was the fault of those campaigns’ “poor messaging,” per multiple sources who described Morton’s 34 minute speech as “pathetic” and a marker of the “death of the local party.”
“I must say that in Duval County especially we had some issues with messaging from a couple of our candidates, one in particular,” Morton said.
Singled out for particular opprobrium: the Governor-elect, a Jacksonville native whose wife was a longtime fixture on local television, with his campaign manager Susie Wiles being