Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GOP challenger King drops out of race to unseat Brown-Waite

Jim King, the controversial GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, officially ended his campaign this week, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

King, 53, mailed a termination report to the agency July 14, five days after the St. Petersburg Times published a story revealing that he made inaccurate claims about his medical credentials and his time in Afghanistan in 2001.

The FEC received the document Monday and made it available late Wednesday.

It notes questionable campaign finance accounting and comes amid the discovery of more damaging information about King's past, including a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, a domestic violence injunction that led to a divorce and a stalking arrest, all from the mid 1990s in Collier County.

King, of Land O'Lakes, did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

After the Times' initial investigation, King provided two documents to support his claims of being a doctor and professor. But neither substantiated any medical certifications or degrees.

One document was a pay stub showing he served as an instructor at Northern Virginia Community College in 1999, though it didn't identify what he taught. The other item appeared to be a page from an Institutes of Health course catalog showing King's name as the instructor for two Spanish classes designed for medical personnel in Naples. It is undated.

In the weeks since the revelations, King has consistently refused to respond to messages seeking further explanation. Attempts to contact all his supporters listed in campaign finance documents were unsuccessful. His campaign treasurer, Leo Dougherty of Spring Hill, said Thursday that he served temporarily but resigned May 13 when the work began to take too much time.

King identified fewer than 5 percent of his contributors, saying the bulk of his $55,000 came in donations less than $200. Those he did list were mostly family members.

In his final filing, he reported spending all his money on campaign literature, postage and travel costs. This included more than $3,000 in payments toward a car loan with GMAC — a questionable expenditure that at worst violates prohibitions about personal use of campaign funds and at best requires better accounting under "mixed use" guidelines.

King previously ran for elected office three times between 1992 and 2000 and his background was never questioned. But new documents unearthed by the Times reveal troubling material dating back more than a decade.

King filed for bankruptcy in June 1995, listing assets of $144,715 and debts totalling nearly $300,000. The court documents indicate King lived a comfortable lifestyle. He leased a 1993 Corvette for $25,000, bought a $75,000 1963 Beechcraft Queen Air plane and lost $1,500 gambling in the Bahamas.

He received workers' compensation pay and was involved in land deals in Ireland with his father, who was born in Britain. Court documents also suggest he owned a company called Medical Interpreters Inc., as he previously claimed, but the business is not listed in Florida corporation records, according to a recent search.

About the same time, King's wife filed for a domestic violence injunction and then divorce after six years of marriage, according to court documents. Dorothy Xanos King, who at the time worked as a case manager for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, declared she and King were incompatible.

In August 1995, King was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor stalking involving his estranged wife, court records show. After much legal wrangling, prosecutors allowed King to enter a pretrial diversion program. He successfully completed it six months later and the charge was dropped.

In a settlement, he and his wife agreed never to contact each other again. King's ex-wife could not be reached for comment.

Staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. John Frank can be reached at or (352) 754-6114.

GOP challenger King drops out of race to unseat Brown-Waite 07/24/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 25, 2008 3:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The rise and humiliating fall of Chris Cantwell, Charlottesville's star 'fascist'


    The white supremacists, nationalists and far-right trolls who starred in last weekend's violent Charlottesville, Virginia, rallies have suffered no lack of humiliation in the days since.

    White nationalist Chris Cantwell has had quite the week after being featured prominently in an HBO news program on the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. [Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post]
  2. MLB umpires wear wristbands to protest 'abusive player behavior'


    Major League Baseball umpires wore white wristbands during games Saturday, protesting "abusive player behavior" after Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler was fined but not suspended for his recent verbal tirade against ump Angel Hernandez.

    Home plate umpire D.J. Rayburn wears a wristband to protest "abusive player behavior" on umpires by players as Rayburn heads to his position to call the first inning of a baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and and the Colorado Rockies late Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Denver. [Associated Press]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey could regroup but stay clear of Florida


    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop into severe weather.

    The remnants of former Tropical Storm Harvey could rebound while two other systems brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are unlikely to develop, according to the National Hurricane Center. [National Hurricane Center]
  4. Fatal hit and run closes section of Nebraska Avenue


    TAMPA — Police are investigating a fatal hit and run crash early Sunday morning on Nebraska Avenue.

  5. Sunday Conversation: Roberto Torres talks immigration

    Human Interest


    Roberto Torres stands as one of the city's most impressive rising entrepreneurs. The owner of Blind Tiger Cafes, Black & Denim clothing company and CoWork Ybor has expanded his reach with locations at Tampa International Airport and The Morrison, a new mixed use development in the SoHo District. Torres, …

    Roberto Torres receives his American Dream award from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Aug. 15.