Primary challengers emerge to run against Kim Daniels

The Democratic field in Northwest Jacksonville’s House District 14 continues to get crowded.

Angie Nixon filed last week to run for the seat currently held by second-term incumbent Rep. Kim Daniels.

Nixon, a political operative and community organizer, will present the second high-profile challenger to the incumbent.

Daniels, elected in 2016, is a self-styled “Blue Dog” Democrat who frequently aligns with Republicans on social issues. She has had one of the most compelling personal histories of anyone in the Florida Legislature, with a long vocation as an evangelical minister globally, and overcoming all manner of adversity to serve in elected office for most of the last decade.

In February, activist Connell Crooms filed to run against Daniels.

Crooms became known to Jacksonville residents in the wake of a protest that went awry in Hemming Park in 2017. He was beaten into unconsciousness by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officers, and charges were dropped.

He briefly ran for Mayor in 2019, then shifted his focus to Jacksonville City Council At-Large District 1. He did not perform well with voters.

Daniels, meanwhile,  expected a primary. She called one a “blessing.”

She faced one in August 2018, defeating then-Duval County School Board chair Paula Wright despite the local party leaning in favor of Wright’s campaign.

As there were no GOP or NPA candidates, the open primary was decisive.

The incumbent has suggested that many Democrats in Tallahassee would like to see her gone.

“There is no fair place for a person of faith in the Democratic Party,” Daniels said, saying that her critics. “they need to ask why they are losing. Why they can’t raise money.”

“I’m standing my ground. I have a right to be here. If they don’t like it,” Daniels said, “get a good opponent and send me home.”

Last year, the Florida Chamber recognized Daniels as the most pro-business Democrat in the Legislature.

Her January donations (the last period in which she could fundraise as a sitting legislator) include $1,000 contributions from The Fiorentino Group and three political committees: Florida Influence, Florida Opinion Leaders, and Florida Right Direction.

These are largely funded by Reps. Travis Cummings and Paul Renner, two Republican leaders.

HD 14 has a strong Democratic majority of its 107,000 registered voters, over 62,000 are Democrats.