JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than 24 hours after Senior County Judge Brent Shore resigned from his position on the Duval County Canvassing Board, demonstrators took to the street in front of his home demanding that he resign from his judgeship.
Shore had signs supporting President Donald Trump in his front yard, and The Florida Times-Union discovered Shore also donated money to the president’s re-election campaign, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Judicial rules bar judges from political donations of any kind and canvassing board rules bar members from displaying a candidate’s campaign signs.
Shore’s Trump 2020 signs were replaced Friday with demonstrators chanting “Judge Shore must go” and holding signs outside his home.
“He is highly partisan, and he was in charge of a committee counting votes that’s supposed to be non-partisan,” demonstrator Steve Reedberry said. “What does that say about his ethics? He needs to resign.”
The Army veteran with 32 years of service was one of more than 15 people gathered outside the judge’s home.
“I think he has shown he really cannot be trusted to apply the law if he can’t even follow the law,” said Mary McDermott, another demonstrator.
Across the street from the judge’s home, neighbor Allison Forysth, who happens to be an attorney, watched on.
“It’s a blatant disregard of the law. I am a lawyer, so it makes me -- more as a lawyer, not so much a taxpayer -- concerned,” Forsyth said. “He is just blatantly disregarding the judicial rules. The Florida Bar has judicial rules for judges as well as for lawyers, and you’re not supposed to be politically active and there is no judge I know of that doesn’t know that.”
Forsyth said Shore had the signs up in his yard and windows for several weeks.
The NAACP is also calling for Shore to resign. In a statement, Jacksonville NAACP President Isaiah Rumlin calls Shore’s actions “a total disgrace to the Jacksonville community” and said, in part, “Resigning from the canvassing board was a step in the right direction, but it was not enough.”
Not everyone passing by was in support of Shore resigning. Some people yelled profanity at the demonstrators and told them to stop wasting their time, while others honked their horns.
“All of us have jobs, families and responsibilities,” demonstrator Kevin Conner said in response. “It’s an imperative time, a critical time for our country, and so we are putting those responsibilities aside momentarily to come out here and say a ‘free and fair’ election, and if you’re opposed to that I have to believe you are putting partisanship ahead of a free and fair election, true democracy.”
News4Jax attempted to contact Shore on Friday, but no one answered his door when we knocked. Atlantic Beach police officers who arrived at his residence, were greeted by someone inside.
News4Jax also requested comment Friday from Chief Judge Mark Mahon, who oversees judges and Duval County and appoints judges to the canvassing board, but we have not heard back.