Bombshell from the Times-Union: Opponent accuses US Rep. Cliff Stearns of trying to buy him out of race

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Clay Clerk of Courts James Jett told a group of Republicans today the FBI is looking into Rep. Cliff Stearns for what Jett said is a plot to buy him out of this fall’s congressional primary, reports the Jacksonville Times-Union.

Jett, who bowed out of the county clerk race after the state Legislature redrew congressional election lines, is running against Stearns for the newly-drawn Florida District 3, which includes much of Clay County. Stearns currently represents Clay County in District 6 from his home in Ocala, but that city has been drawn out of the area in once-a-decade redistricting. He has said he will move to Orange Park to run for re-election.

Stearns used former state Education Commissioner Jim Horne as the middle man to offer everything from money to appointed political positions, Jett said during a South Clay Republicans meeting at the Magnolia Point Golf & Country Club.

Offerings included a job on Stearns’ campaign staff or cash to cover the approximately $25,000 Jett has personally spent on his congressional run, Jett said. He also said he was told there could be a job heading the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or a U.S. marshal position once there are vacancies.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.