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Lenny Curry, potential Jacksonville mayoral candidate, will announce Thursday he is stepping down as Florida GOP chair

Move comes three days after Peter Rummell, GOP fundraiser and One Spark driver, threw his support behind Curry for mayor

Posted: April 30, 2014 - 6:25pm  |  Updated: April 30, 2014 - 7:15pm
Lenny Curry
Lenny Curry

Lenny Curry, who is considering a run for Jacksonville mayor, will announce he is stepping down as chairman of the Florida Republican Party on Thursday, according to party officials with knowledge of the situation.

He will send a letter to Republican Party leadership Thursday, officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity since Curry hasn’t given his formal notice to party leaders.

Curry will stay on as chair through the end of May. He would not comment for the story Wednesday evening.

The move comes on the heels of a high-profile and potentially significant pickup for Curry. Peter Rummell, a powerful Northeast Florida Republican fundraiser, told the Times-Union last week he will throw his support behind the GOP chairman in the 2015 mayor’s race.

Rummell supported Democratic Mayor Alvin Brown in his surprising 2011 victory over Republican opponent Mike Hogan — who Rummell and other downtown business leaders considered too conservative and out of touch with downtown’s needs. Rummell’s $150,000 donation and influence are thought to have played a major role in Brown’s narrow victory.

“Peter is a man who has made an unparalleled commitment to seeing Jacksonville achieve great things. His support and confidence in my abilities as a leader are humbling,” Curry said in a statement to the Times-Union last week. “I look forward to soon sharing my vision for how I can serve our community.”

Rummell, a former Disney and St. Joe Co. executive and a major force behind Jacksonville’s One Spark festival, said his disappointment in Brown’s first-term leadership and faith that Curry would be a politically courageous and capable leader swayed his decision to publicly endorse Curry.

University of North Florida political science professor Matt Corrigan said stepping down as party chairman makes sense if Curry is planning a mayoral run. The November race for Florida governor will be among the most high-profile and hotly contested in the country.

Curry likely wouldn’t have the time as a mayoral candidate to manage the state party, Corrigan said. And with the outcome of the governor’s race “far from certain,” Curry wouldn’t want to be the head of the party if Gov. Rick Scott fails to win re-election.

“That doesn’t help your bid to become Jacksonville’s mayor,” he said.

Curry, co-founder of Jacksonville-based ICX Group Inc. and former chairman of the Duval County GOP, succeeded David Bitner as the state chairman in 2011.

The state’s Republican Executive Committee will elect a replacement for Curry at the end of May.

City Councilman Bill Bishop and Omega Allen, both Republicans, and Tiffany Wingo, a member of the Independence Party of Florida, have filed to run for mayor.

Nate Monroe: (904) 359-4289

Comments (11)

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HarryLongwood
72
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HarryLongwood 04/30/14 - 06:50 pm
0
0

Guess Mr Curry doesn't want

Guess Mr Curry doesn't want to lose again in November as Chairman.

HarryLongwood
72
Points
HarryLongwood 04/30/14 - 06:50 pm
0
0

Guess Mr Curry doesn't want

Guess Mr Curry doesn't want to lose again in November as Chairman.

Right for jax
1192
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Right for jax 04/30/14 - 07:18 pm
0
0

Wow, Big surprise. I am over

Wow, Big surprise. I am over the posturing by a few big shots ( rummell and petway) wanting to pick our mayor. I'm turned off by this completely. Not real happy with mayor brown, but at this point he has experience. I'm just turned off by the whole puppet machinery. Yawn...

Wisdom of Solomon
467
Points
Wisdom of Solomon 04/30/14 - 07:41 pm
0
0

Lenny Who?

Lenny Who?

Right for jax
1192
Points
Right for jax 04/30/14 - 08:02 pm
0
0

Btw, many past mayors

Btw, many past mayors struggled thier first term with the same " no new taxes pledge" with less difficult economies and issues and they got a pass???? There is something fundamentally wrong with my home town and always has been. Curry funded over others with experience ?? Come on mannnn... Btw, rum ell is a big supporter of councilwomen Kimberly Daniels who is an embarrassment . What say he about this????

jaxguy111
3101
Points
jaxguy111 04/30/14 - 08:56 pm
0
0

Awesome. Two party insiders

Awesome. Two party insiders running against one another. And the lemming electorate will be too lazy to get behind any other candidate since that would require turning off the TV and doing a little digging.

saltmarsh cracker
3812
Points
saltmarsh cracker 04/30/14 - 09:45 pm
0
0

I'm supporting Brown because

I'm supporting Brown because The Jags owner is supporting Brown and I think the Jags owner is a visionary.

We need a visionary in the mayor's office.

Delaney and Godbold were…Peyton was not.

Fortunately, we have not had a corrupt mayor since consolidation.

Hooray for us.

Noillusions
3130
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Noillusions 05/01/14 - 09:02 am
0
0

Lenny Who? Just another good

Lenny Who?

Just another good ole boy puppet.

Crash
110
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Crash 05/01/14 - 01:14 pm
0
0
Premium Member

Lenny Curry has never been

Lenny Curry has never been elected to any position. He is a political appointment with no credible background. What experience does he bring to the table? He couldn't lead the Republican Party into a unified party, what makes him think he can lead Jacksonville? Do the GOP a favor and stay out of it Lenny!

Cowford Express
1494
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Cowford Express 05/01/14 - 01:46 pm
0
0
Premium Member

The only winner here seems to

The only winner here seems to be the FL GOP.

Judygermaine
168
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Judygermaine 07/09/14 - 07:12 pm
0
0
Premium Member

Even though I'm a Republican,

Even though I'm a Republican, if Lenny Curry is a member of the anti-Gay FBC, I will NEVER vote for him.

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