Duval Republican Party Won’t Take Sides
Last week, following Charlie Crist's announcement that he would run for the U.S. Senate, most of the party establishment (including Senator Martinez, former Senator Mack, and RPOF Chairman Jim Greer) signed on to back Crist. This move lead to some consternation among local and county-level parties throughout the state. Some felt they were being pressured to back Crist and to shun his main primary rival, former House Speaker Marco Rubio.
Rubio is attempting to challenge Crist from the right in next year's primary, but is facing an uphill climb. Recent polls show him trailing the governor by more than 30 points.
Today the Duval County Republican Party released an official statement regarding the topic of contested primaries, promising to remain officially neutral and to respect the primary process. In his remarks, Chairman Lenny Curry makes his position clear that the party will not back one Republican over another in any of the statewide primary contests that may occur next year.
Curry then goes on to encourage Republicans to avoid internal fighting and to focus on "the real opponent" which he defines as the "liberal left."