A freelance journalist who had qualified to run against current state Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, in the newly created Florida House District 28 contest has withdrawn.
In a letter of resignation to the Division of Elections, journalist Alex Newman requested that his name be struck from the ballot for the election on August 23. His work has appeared in right-wing publications such Mike Lindell’s frankspeech.com. Just two days after assuring The News-Journal he planned to continue running, Newman announced his withdrawal on Thursday.
“I’m simply unable at this time to dedicate the incredible amount of time, energy, and resources required to beat a candidate with access to well over $1 million in his PAC and campaign for this race,” Newman said in an email to The News-Journal. “I have a family to support and commitments to clients.”
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Newman received support from the Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, state Representative Anthony Sabatini of Lake County, former presidential candidate Ron Paul, and the Republican Conservatives Ormond Beach Assembly, a group that broke away from the Volusia County Republican Executive Committee last year, despite the fact that he had an uphill battle against Leek, a strong member of the Republican leadership caucus, in the GOP primary.
Elections in Florida: Newman campaign under investigation
But the Newman campaign immediately encountered issues.
The Florida Board of Elections discovered many potential violations of state election law following the receipt of a complaint, and on June 13 it wrote to the Newman campaign requesting an explanation. Prior to formally declaring himself a candidate, Newman received 24 donations totaling $3,875 according to his own campaign finance reports. The letter also claims that he received two contributions of more than $50, above the legal limit allowed by state law.
According to the financial documents of his campaign, Newman got his first contributions on March 18.
As a first-time candidate with no prior political experience, Newman acknowledged making “innocent” errors in an email to The News-Journal, but he also noted that he and his team were “trying our very best to negotiate the immensely complex Florida regulations governing elections.”
The Division of Elections then informed Newman last week that one of his qualification documents would not be accepted and that he would not be eligible due to a notary error.
The error was made by the notary, not a member of our campaign, according to Newman’s email from Thursday. “As a result, we suspended the campaign, called off all meetings, asked vendors for refunds, notified supporters, and everything came to a grinding halt. The Division unexpectedly qualified our campaign on Friday after business hours for reasons that have not been made clear.
The campaign staff “had to do some serious soul-searching,” he stated. We made the decision not to relaunch the campaign after much prayer and thought.
Facebook/John Navarra For Florida House District 28 in 2022, John Navarra is the Democratic nominee.
Experts told Newman he could win, but only if he “spent every waking second of the next two months publicly criticizing my opponent and begging for money,” Newman wrote.
He promised not to do that.
It is against my character to purposefully humiliate and denigrate a person in front of his own community for political advantage, Newman said. “I disagree with several of my former opponent’s critical votes and remain concerned about the vast cash flooding into the political system from special interests. “This is one of the major issues in politics right now,”
He claimed that several of the people running his own campaign told him that they didn’t believe he had his heart in the race.
“They also said they could tell I didn’t feel led to do this by God. Some of the campaign’s most dedicated supporters came to a grim revelation, according to Newman. “God, family, freedom, and country — in that order — are my top priorities, as everyone who knows me is aware. Currently, I believe that I can best serve them all by continuing to work in journalism, education, consulting, and public speaking. These are professions in which I have a wealth of experience and which are at least equally important to the fight for liberty as politics.
Newman and Leek had a conversation.
The right of a resident to carry a weapon — either openly or covertly — without a permission is known as constitutional carry. According to Newman, he spoke with Leek, who he claims promised the Legislature will pursue some of Newman’s concerns. In addition, (Leek) consented to study a book that Newman deemed crucial at the moment upon his request.
On Thursday, Leek acknowledged the discussion, including his agreement to receive a book that Newman had written.
For months, (House Speaker-Designate) Paul Renner has stated that he will approve a constitutional carry law the next year, according to Leek. When he does, I’ll be there by his side.
According to Newman, he told Leek that rather than criticizing another party member, he would rather work for “the Republican cause — and more crucially, for the American cause of liberty and self-government.”
“One of the heartbreaking discoveries I had to make during this campaign was that there is corruption ingrained in the political process and system, even at the local level. The political system appears to be constructed in a way that excludes grassroots candidates and makes it as challenging as possible for regular people to run for government, which is another sad fact. For the sake of our nation and upcoming generations, it must alter, according to Newman.
Due to Newman’s withdrawal, Leek will compete against John Navarra, a Democrat, on November 8.
Northeast Volusia County, including Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach, is covered by the new District 28.
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The Daytona Beach News-Journal is where this article first appeared: Alex Newman, an Ormond Beach-based right-wing journalist, withdraws his challenge against Tom Leek