SECOND UPDATE: This response from Ashley Moody campaign spokeswoman, Christina Johnson:
“It is laughable that a candidate running to be Florida’s Chief Legal Officer would offer up such erroneous and egregious attacks on the proven record of a former and well respected federal prosecutor and circuit court judge. Ashley Moody is pro-Second Amendment and the only candidate who has supported Second Amendment priorities like Stand Your Ground in the courtroom. These are real world distinctions that matter to voters, and issues which Ashley Moody has shared with Republican activists across the state these last months and throughout her career. Not only is Ashley Moody a staunch supporter of our President, but she has secured the endorsements of those who worked tirelessly on behalf of the President’s campaign, including law enforcement officials and elected leaders across the state. We look forward to highlighting these conservative values at the January RPOF meeting.”
UPDATED: RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia gave us this smackdown about Jay Fant’s request to have Ashley Moody banned from the party’s annual meeting next month:
“All Republicans running for statewide office are welcome to attend RPOF meetings. We will not, and should not, interject ourselves in the middle of primaries. Nor, should the RPOF become the arbiter of a candidates conservative credentials. If Rep. Fant thinks this will resonate with the electorate, then take it directly to the primary voters,” said RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia.
Here’s the original post:
Ouch. Our eyeballs are on fire after reading GOP attorney general candidate Jay Fant’s blistering attack against opponent Ashley Moody.
Fant, a Republican state House member from Jacksonville, sent a letter to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia — who, oh by the way, serves in the House with Fant — asking the party boss to ban Moody from the RPOF’s January meeting because she’s “a true liberal and proud of it.”
Moody, a former judge, has garnered a mile-high pile of endorsements from law enforcement leaders and others throughout the state and amassed a finance team that’s a veritable GOP who’s who, including influential lobbyist Brian Ballard.
Fant, who’s’ trailing Moody in fundraising even after dumping $750,000 of his own money into his campaign, accuses Moody of having close ties to the Clinton family — her father was appointed by Bill Clinton to the federal bench. Moody once worked as a speechwriter for “left wing” former American Bar Association President Martha Barnett who is a “close ally” of Hillary Clinton, Fant wrote to Ingoglia. And Moody even sued President Donald Trump (long before he moved into the White House) over a failed development project, Fant pointed out.
Fant says it’s “in the party’s best interest” to blackball Moody from the RPOF’s annual meeting in January.
“The 2018 election ballot is absolutely critical from top to bottom and we simply cannot waste time with candidates who have to hide their past involvement with the Clintons in order to win,” he wrote.
Fant’s asking that the party leadership “refuse Ashley Moody access to the annual meeting and immediately discontinue RPOF’s indirect support of her campaign” through in-kind resources like staff, “that already total more than $23,000,” according to campaign finance reports.
Moody and Fant will face off in the GOP primary against two other state reps — Frank White of Pensacola and Ross Spano of Dover.
We’ve reached out to Moody’s camp for a response, and we’ll update if we get one.