You have seen my favorite Florida farmer, Alfie Oakes, in appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight and the War Room with Steve Bannon. Alfie is the man in Naples, Florida, and along with Joel Salatin is one of America’s food kings. When COVID hit, Alfie Oakes refused to comply with Biden’s vaccine mandate, and encouraged other businesses to take a stand against lockdowns. This election, Oakes used his PAC to support conservative candidates in local races, and his candidates were winners. The Naples Daily News reports:
Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed school board candidates across the state, and as such, the races have taken on a different tone. Although DeSantis did not endorse a school board candidate in Collier County, the Collier County Republican Executive Committee did endorse three candidates: District 1 winner Jerry Rutherford, District 3 winner Kelly Lichter and District 5 winner Tim Moshier.
All three were also endorsed by Naples conservative firebrand and grocer Alfie Oakes, who is the county Republican Executive Committee State Committeeman.
All were challengers to the existing board.
Oakes has been a polemic figure in Naples Republican circles; his anti-masking stance early in the pandemic led Lee County Schools to cancel his produce contract with the district. In response, he sued the district in 2021; in February 2022 a judge ruled the district must pay approximately $50,000 in Oakes’ attorney’s fees after failing to produce records in a timely fashion.
Oakes’ PAC Citizens Awake Now has spent about $41,000 this election cycle, with at least some of that going to negative campaigning against Lichter’s District 3 opponent, incumbent Mitchell. Oakes, who endorsed Lichter, said he targeted Mitchell because she is too liberal.
Collier County is a well-known Republican stronghold. Putting out the message that someone isn’t a “real Republican” can mean death for their political aspirations.
Mitchell provided the Naples Daily News with photos of a mailer sent to her home in recent weeks, as well as the text of a text message campaign sent Oct. 21.
“On November 8th, you have the chance to re-elect Jen Mitchell for Collier County School Board District 3,” the text campaign read. “Her opponent is a Republican who has vowed to support Governor DeSantis and his agenda. We as liberals cannot let her opponent win.”
The mailer asserts she is the “ultimate DeSantis antagonist.”
Both the mailer and the text message said they were sponsored by the Citizens Awake Now PAC, which lists Francis A. Oakes III (locally known as Alfie) as the chairperson.
It is not clear where the money went to, besides the mailers, and text campaign against Mitchell. PACs are only required to disclose what they paid and when, not what it was earmarked for.
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