On November 4, 2023, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Nancy Jacobs successfully moved to disqualify a member of the six-person Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission panel that will review a complaint filed against her. The complaint stems from her contentious 2022 judicial election campaign against Judge Jared Smith.
Jonathan Bronitsky, a public relations executive from Delray Beach, withdrew voluntarily from the panel after Jacobs cited numerous examples of his “inflammatory” right-wing writings in conservative media. Bronitsky, who was appointed to the commission last year by Governor Ron DeSantis, has authored opinion pieces criticizing the left and calling a speech by President Joe Biden the “darkest, most toxic presidential speech of the modern era.”
In a court filing, Bronitsky said he withdrew because it was “not in the best interest of this proceeding” to comment on Jacobs’ motion. The high-profile 2022 judicial race focused heavily on abortion rights due to a ruling Smith had made preventing a minor from getting an abortion without parental consent. Jacobs criticized Smith, a member of a conservative evangelical church, over this ruling.
The ethics commission found probable cause in September 2023 to charge Jacobs with violating campaign conduct guidelines related to attacks on Smith’s religion and political stances during the election. The complaint will now be reviewed by the remaining five members of the panel.
Source: Tampa Bay Times