Tampa Bay GOP Congressional Candidate Sues Local Community Patriots Group

Tampa Bay GOP Congressional Candidate Sues Local Community Patriots Group

Former Republican Congress candidate Christine Quinn is suing the local Community Patriots group and two of its members, saying they did not reimburse her for the cost of traveling to Washington for the January 6 Trump rally before the Capitol invasion .

Quinn, a Trump supporter who ran against Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, in 2016 and 2020, has filed a lawsuit for $ 3,709.97 and the Patriots Organization, its leader Jeff Hawks and supporter Scott Courtney named as the defendant.

Republican Christine Quinn, who ran against MP Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, in 2016 and 2020.

Quinn says in her complaint that she offered private jet travel to Washington and covered hotel expenses for Hawks and another Patriots member, Carl Prewitt, who told her they should be the “security detail” for the rally, but they could can’t afford to go.

She also paid hotel expenses for the two pilots after Hawks invited them to stay at the hotel and take part in the rally, the complaint said.

It is said that Hawks promised to repay her to the organization with money from “large donors” and Courtney, a Tampa businessman, told her he was a supporter who would repay her, but she never received any money.

She also requested a refund of $ 250 membership dues to the organization.

Quinn says she joined the group because she thought it was a pro-Trump Republican group, but Hawks told her it was a non-partisan, tax-deductible charity. On its website, the group calls itself impartial, but also advertised and organized trips to the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6th and to local pro-Trump events.

Neither Hawks nor Courtney responded to repeated phone and text messages this week.

In an affidavit attached to Quinn’s claim, Prewitt said he told Hawks he couldn’t afford the trip, and Hawks said the Patriots group would cover his expenses.

Quinn, who arrived at the Mexican border last week on a trip with fellow Republicans to watch border crossings, said she attended the rally but did not go to the Capitol. She didn’t know if any of the other Tampa attendees did. She said she was questioned by the FBI about her experience and showed agent videos that she recorded at the rally.

The people who invaded the Capitol, they said, “were Antifa, not patriots.”

The FBI has said there is “currently no indication” that Antifa played a role in the crowd that stormed the Capitol.

Quinn, owner of Clearwater-based spice company My Family’s Seasonings, received 38 percent of the vote against Castor in 2016 and 40 percent in 2020. She says she intends to run again next year.

Newcomers seek a seat on the council of St. Petersburg District 8

Two political newcomers are the only candidates so far submitted for the St. Petersburg City Council seat in District 8, which will be vacated by temporary Amy Foster. Political insiders are currently surprised that no other candidate is currently in sight.

The two candidates are Richmond “Richie” Floyd, a 29-year-old former aerospace systems engineer and public school teacher on leave, and Dane Kuplicki, 39, a practicing optician and lifelong Pinellas resident.

Richmond Richmond “Richie” Floyd is a 29 year old retired aerospace systems engineer and public school teacher on leave. [ Richmond Floyd ]

Has not previously sought public office or held any positions in local government.

Kuplicki, the son of two long-time Pinellas school teachers, admits: “This is my first venture in the political landscape”, but said: “I have followed the city council and city politics for more than two decades as a chair observer. When I got back from Indiana University, I knew I wanted to participate. “

Dane Kuplicki, 39, is a practicing optician and a lifelong Pinellas resident.Dane Kuplicki, 39, is a practicing optician and a lifelong Pinellas resident. [ Dane Kuplicki ]

Floyd says he has been a volunteer and union member in a variety of organized labor and progressive areas, including the Fight for 15 petition to raise the state minimum wage, and is familiar with political organization.

“I’ve done a lot of activism in the city and thought the best I could do to help the movement move forward is to take it to a higher platform and stand up for the problems of working people,” he said.

District 8 is south of 40th Avenue north and west of I-275, including the boroughs of Kenwood, Disston Heights, and St. Pete Heights.

Todd Pressman, a lobbyist who is closely following the local government, says it is “somewhat surprising that we haven’t seen more people join the race, especially in the part of town that is usually a lot of positive activism gives. An open seat on the council is a beautiful plum. “

Floyd says his campaign “is about economic, environmental and social justice” while Kuplicki emphasizes affordable housing, resilience of the coast and “economic and racial justice”.

Both have started serious campaigns.

Central Oak Park’s Floyd has raised $ 28,979 since it was filed in November and says he knocked on 5,000 doors.

Kuplicki, who said he lived downtown until about a year ago and is now in Kenwood, raised $ 11,246 in March, his first month as a candidate, and loaned an additional $ 5,000 to his campaign.

Berny Jacques applies for a seat in the D66 State House

Berny Jacques, a former assistant prosecutor and television political commentator, has run for the seat of the District 66 State House and set up a potentially tough Republican elementary school in the GOP-oriented district.

MP Nick DiCeglie leaves the seat open to run for the Senate.

Jacques, 34, may have been known as a conservative expert on Spectrum Bay News 9 since August, a position he must now leave in order to enter the race.

Berny Jacques, a former assistant prosecutor and television political commentator, has applied for the seat of the District 66 State House.Berny Jacques, a former assistant prosecutor and television political commentator, has applied for the seat of the District 66 State House. [ Berny Jacques ]

He is also the director of development for Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Tampa Bay. Prior to that, he spent four years as an intern and assistant prosecutor in the Pasco-Pinellas prosecutor’s office and one year as a bankruptcy and personal injury attorney.

A law graduate from Stetson University, Jacques is known as a die-hard conservative and sees himself as an ally of brands such as Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, and US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

National Guard veteran and defense firm Alen Tomczak both ran for the seat last month and raised $ 33,045 in his first month as a candidate.

Both candidates have well-known Republican financiers as campaign treasurers – Nancy Watkins of Tampa for Tomczak and Stafford Jones of Gainesville for Jacques.

“It’s a conservative district and I think I’m the most conservative candidate in the race,” said Jacques. He said freedom and opportunity in America were “attacked by radical socialists and cultural warriors canceled”.

The Mid-Pinellas coastal district runs north from Bay Pines to Clearwater.

This time around, Lorei won’t appeal WMNF shots

Popular local political talk show host Rob Lorei won’t challenge his second layoff as director of news and public affairs at community-backed radio station WMNF, which he co-founded 40 years ago.

Rob Lorei.Rob Lorei. [ “OCTAVIO JONES | TIMES” | Tampa Bay Times ]

Lorei was fired two weeks ago. He said he wasn’t told why; General manager Rick Fernandes said Lorei had been told why, but the broadcaster couldn’t comment. Lorei replied in an interview that he had asked Fernandes for a written justification and had not received one.

Lorei was previously fired in February 2019 by former general manager Craig Kopp, who said he wanted to expand the station to include both digital news media and broadcast. In response to an appeal from Lorei, his fans demanded his reinstatement by the station’s board of directors and Kopp left the station.

When he appealed again, Lorei said, “It will tear the place apart and the factions will compete against each other. … The broadcaster is in a very difficult position – it has financial problems, it has problems with the audience and I don’t want to cause any more problems. “

The dismissal does not affect Lorei’s position as host of the popular Florida This Week panel show on WEDU TV.

Contact William March at [email protected].

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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