Ken Bryan facing Republican Party grievance

Historic City UndercoverHistoric City News has received confirmation from the Republican Party of Florida in Tallahassee that St. Johns County Commissioner Joseph “Ken” Bryan is the subject of a grievance alleging, among other things, that Bryan has violated conditions of a Republican Party Loyalty Oath that he signed before the time when he was elected.

In the 2006 election, about three years after he moved to St. Augustine from the Washington, D.C. area, Bryan put on a campaign for the District 2 commission seat as a member of the St. Johns County Democratic Party. Bryan was defeated.

Just two years later, in the next election cycle, Bryan made another bid — this time for the District 5 commission seat as a member of the St. Johns County Republican Party. Bryan was elected.

Historic City News readers have made comments questioning the appropriateness and accuracy of Bryan’s assertion that he is a representative of the Republican Party.

Bryan was the subject of a feature in Folio Weekly. In the interview published, Bryan talks about his relationship with the Republican Party in disparaging terms.

Bryan came out publically — in support of the unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate, Alex Sink. On the candidate’s website and in local media during the General Election campaigns, Bryan identified himself as a “Republican for Alex Sink” as did commissioner Phil Mays; who is resigning his appointment on Tuesday.

Now it appears that at least one Republican, who currently serves as an officer to the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee, has “had enough” from the commissioner who he says has associated himself with the Republican Party under false pretenses.

Republican Randy Covington has alleged that Ken Bryan used the Republican Party affiliation inappropriately; just to get himself elected. It is also alleged that Bryan registered as a Republican, after his defeat as a Democrat, to create an opportunity to sabotage the good name of the Republican Party by holding himself out as a Republican — all the while, in truth, Bryan is supporting the agenda of the Democratic Party.

In describing the nature of his grievance, Covington alleges that Commissioner Joseph “Ken” Bryan committed a “violation of Party Loyalty Oath requirements to wit: Public endorsement of a Democratic opponent of a Republican Gubernatorial Nominee in a General Election per Rule 9(a) of the Republican Party of Florida Rules.”

Historic City News received a telephone call from Republican Party of Florida media spokesman Dan Conston this morning confirming that his office had, in fact, received the Covington grievance and that the Party will investigate the allegations, documents, articles and video clips submitted by the Executive Committee member.

Some of the exhibits that were included in support of the grievance were a Florida Times-Union article titled “Sink picks up endorsement of two St. Johns County Republicans”, a Ponte Vedra Recorder article titled “Local Republicans endorse Sink”, as well as two Internet videos of Bryan blatantly campaigning as a Democrat; one on a St. Augustine Street and another in a local television talk show appearance on the Norma Sherry Show.

Covington is asking the Republican Party of Florida for the “expulsion of Commissioner Bryan from the St. Johns County Republican Executive Committee and permanently barring him from engaging in any officially sanctioned party functions.”

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