Some prominent Florida Democrats were quick to condemn the selection of Neptune Beach Republican Rep. Cord Byrd to the Secretary of State position.
Republican support manifested, meanwhile, including from a spokesperson for the Governor and some other Northeast Florida conservatives.
Among those Democrats sounding dissonant notes about the Byrd selection: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
“The Secretary of State should serve the people of Florida, but Cord Byrd today was appointed because he will serve only Ron DeSantis. This reckless appointment should make every Floridian question Ron DeSantis’ commitment to free, fair, and democratic elections,” Fried tweeted from her campaign account.
Rep. Angie Nixon, a Duval Democrat who has clashed frequently with Byrd in recent Sessions, maligned the selection as an assault on minority groups and democracy itself.
“Florida’s top elections official should be a consensus builder whose sole focus is running free and fair elections for every citizen of our state. Cord Byrd is not that person. He is unqualified in both his credentials and his temperament, has proved time and again he will put partisanship ahead of good policy, and is unfit to lead the elections department of a diverse state of more than 20 million people,” Nixon said.
“The idea that he will now be in charge of the Governor’s Elections Police force should be a frightening thought for every Floridian, no matter who you are or where you come from. This is another glaring example of Ron DeSantis’ attempt to weaponize government against his political opponents and we will not be silent in the face of the attacks on Black and Brown communities we know are coming.”
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani posted to Instagram in frustration.
“Terrible appointment — not only is it an ‘award’ to Rep. Byrd for voting w/the Governor (including on UNCONSTITUTIONAL MAPS!) but Byrd has supported partisan bills that place barriers to voting and has verbally assaulted Democratic members in the legislature too,” the Orlando-area Democrat posted.
“If the Governor’s goal is to be as extreme as possible (which clearly it is, LOL), he is 100% exceeding, and already appointed Rep. Byrd’s partner (who has expressed QAnon beliefs!) to the State Board of Education,” she added.
It wasn’t all jeering or brickbats for Byrd though.
The Republican Party of Florida predicted “Secretary Byrd will ensure election integrity, fight big tech censorship, and stop the de-platforming of political candidates! We look forward to his continued leadership.”
Speaker-designate Paul Renner raved about the selection: “Cord is an excellent choice to represent Florida and lead this important department. I look forward to working with him to keep Florida’s elections secure and a model for the rest of the country.”
DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw added a personal endorsement of the pick on Twitter.
“In the state house, Rep. Byrd has been a staunch advocate for election security and sponsored legislation including Anti Riot Law, Parents’ Bill of Rights, (and) Banning Sanctuary Cities,” Pushaw lauded. “Thank you for your service!”
Duval County GOP Chair Dean Black, running for the state House in a seat encompassing much of Byrd’s old district, lauded Byrd as “an ally of freedom to the people of Northeast Florida and we know he will continue to serve our state well!”
Kiyan Michael, running for state House in HD 16, which also includes some of Byrd’s former district, likewise was happy with the news.
“No one is more qualified for this important job than my friend Rep. Cord Byrd,” Michael said.
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Cotton: Disinfo. Board Was Only Paused Because People Found out, Congress Needs to Ensure Nothing Like It Can Ever Exist
On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) celebrated the pausing of plans for the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board but noted that the pause isn’t permanent and argued that the board “only paused because the American people found out” and Congress should pass legislation “to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Cotton stated, “I’m glad to know that this Orwellian Ministry of Truth is at least paused for the moment, but I think it’s important to realize that it’s only paused because the American people found out about it. The government has no business refereeing disputes engaged in political campaigns or public debates. If you don’t like someone else’s speech, the solution is more speech. It’s not to use the Department of Homeland Security, for goodness sakes, to try to censor or label someone’s arguments in the public sphere. I think the Democrats often believe that disinformation and misinformation are simply facts that reflect poorly on Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. So, again, it’s good that they finally came to their senses and paused this board, but Congress needs to act in the weeks ahead to ensure that it and nothing like it can ever be created again in the future.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
Republicans Cast 150K More Votes than Democrats in North Carolina Primaries: ‘GOP Enthusiasm Way Up’
Republican voters turned out in droves to participate in the North Carolina primaries and surpassed Democrat participation — even though there are more registered Democrat voters in the state.
Analysis of voter data by the Republican National Committee (RNC) after Tuesday’s elections revealed Republican voters cast roughly 150,000 more votes than Democrats 758,637 to 612,645. GOP turnout was “86 percent higher than 2018 and nearing 2020 levels,” RNC Deputy National Press Secretary William O’Grady told Breitbart News.
🐘📈⚡️GOP enthusiasm is way up
With 98% of Pennslyvania primary votes counted, Republicans have HIGHER turnout than Democrats – the first time this has happened in a decade.
With 100% of North Carolina counted, there were nearly 150k more GOP votes cast than Dem votes.
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) May 18, 2022
“GOP enthusiasm is way up,” RNC Communications Director Nathan Brand tweeted Wednesday, referring to the results in both the Pennsylvania and North Carolina primary elections.
Election analysis from the New York Times rendered similar findings, with 759,554 GOP voters participating in the North Carolina U.S. Senate primary and 613,170 Democrats participating in the state’s Democrat U.S. Senate primary. Both Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) and former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Cheri Beasley (D) made clean sweeps in the primaries and will face off in the November general election.
O’Grady noted that “in counties Biden won in 2020, GOP primary votes were 169,210 or 182 percent higher than in 2018.” Former President Donald Trump won the state in 2020 against now-President Joe Biden, though only by a narrow margin of 1.3 percent.
North Carolina Democrat voters were clearly not as revved for this year’s primaries as they were in 2020, when they cast a total of 1,251,389 votes securing the Democrat nomination for Cal Cunningham in the U.S. Senate primary. GOP voters cast 776,291 ballots, slightly more than in 2022, and nominated now-Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) who ended up beating Cunningham in the general election.
While North Carolina still has more registered Democrat voters than Republican voters, registered unaffiliated voters have been growing exponentially over the past few years. In 2016, there were 2,736,124 Democrat voters, 2,099,551 GOP voters, and 2,076,361 unaffiliated voters, according to data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections. By 2022, registered Democrats fell to 2,493,492, GOP voters grew slightly to 2,198,612, and unaffiliated voters leaped more than 450,000 to 2,532,944, surpassing Democrats.
As expected, Unaffiliated voter registrants passed Democrats this week to make them the largest group of registrants in NC politics (~7600 more Unaffiliated than Dems). A #ncpol (1/11)
This was a slow build that picked up momentum recently, as the graph below indicates. pic.twitter.com/vXuEsJUarT
— Chris Cooper (@chriscooperwcu) March 19, 2022
The increase in unaffiliated voters is significant and indicative of a larger national trend — independent voters more and more are leaning and voting Republican as the Democrat Party loses itself catering the whims of the far-left. A Gallup poll in January 2022 found that by the end of 2021, the percentage of Democrat-leaning independent voters decreased by five points, and Republican leaners increased by four points.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.
Jankowicz: ‘Ironic’ Disinformation Board Killed by Disinformation
Nina Jankowicz said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In” that the Department of Homeland Security’s new Disinformation Governance Board was disbanded because of disinformation.
Jankowicz was supposed to lead the now-dissolved board.
Jankowicz said, “All these sensationalized narratives about what people thought the board was going to do was completely wrong. It was a coordinating mechanism. It was meant to make sure that the very large agency that is the Department of Homeland Security, that people were talking to each other within it. Let me give you an example, FEMA, the agency that handles disasters and environmental issues, would often encounter misinformation about natural disasters. Let’s say an adversary like Iran or China would put out a false narrative like this is how you get out of the city, or this is where you can find disaster aid. That could put people really into danger, their lives into danger. That’s the sort of disinformation and misinformation that we were looking to support the department in addressing, to make sure they had best practices, and most importantly, to protect Americans’ freedom of speech, civil liberties, and privacy while we are doing all that work. So, every characterization of the board that you heard up until now has been incorrect, and frankly, it’s kind of ironic that the board itself was taken over by disinformation when it was meant to fight it.”
She continued, “I’ve been a really nuanced, reasonable person, again, as I said, I briefed and advised both Republicans and Democrats. I admired some of steps even the Trump administration took to combat disinformation.”
She added, “To say that I am just a partisan actor wildly out of context.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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