PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (WFLA) – A new political group called the MAGA Patriot Party National Committee filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission Monday.
The party’s address is listed in San Antonio, Texas, but 8 On Your Side has learned the organizer lives just south of the Tampa Bay area in Punta Gorda.
James Davis is a military veteran and former pastor. He currently works for a local government agency in Sarasota County. The veteran says he started the grassroots movement on Jan. 7.
“I was just someone who watched this last election and was a lifetime Republican and just felt like, I felt like they turned their backs on me,” said Davis. “We wanted to send a message to the Republican Party that we want them to represent us and what the people are saying. Also, we want to have an alternative for those Republicans that refuse to listen to the people they represent.”
Davis felt he had to stand up for what he believes in.
“My whole fighting back has to do with trying to stay within the constitutional rights that we have as citizens and do it through the political system,” said Davis.
8 On Your Side talked with political science professor Frank Alcock about what this recent filing could mean for the Republican Party.
“Probably not much. I imagine the chances of this fizzling are pretty high,” said Alcock.
The New College of Florida professor said, however, one thing that makes this party filing stand out from others in the past is the “Donald Trump factor.”
“If he wanted to give them a go ahead, I am sure they would get some pretty serious numbers. It would just be disastrous for the Republican Party because it would split their votes and in half, which I think, they don’t wanna see that and I think neither does Donald Trump,” said Alcock.
“To be clear: DJTFP has no affiliation with MAGA Patriot Party National Committee, which is not authorized by Mr. Trump or DJTFP. DJTFP is placing this disavowal notice on the public record out of concern for confusion among the public, which may be misled to believe that MAGA Patriot Party National Committee’s activities have been authorized by Mr. Trump or DJTFP — or that contributions to this unauthorized committee are being made to DJTFP — when that is not true,” wrote the former President’s campaign.
Davis says seeing the disavowal was disappointing as he has tried to get in contact with the former President’s campaign with no luck.
“I think it was necessary for him to do, but we were very disappointed. We wanted to show him that if he is exhausted or if he wants to take a break that is fine, but the American people won’t. We are going to continue to fight for him, we are going to continue to organize and we are going to be there for him when he is ready to come and join us,” said Davis. “It took courage to win our independence the first time and now it takes courage to win it again. We feel like we are being censored, we feel like we are being told to go away, but we can’t be afraid to step up and be who we are. I defended our constitution once, and I am willing to defend it again.”
8 On Your Side reached out to officials with the Republican Party of Florida and the Florida Democratic Party; neither have responded to our requests for comment.