Photo courtesy Publix/Facebook
Publix founder George Jenkins died in 1996, but his wealthy, mostly Lakeland-based children are still very much involved in the political arena, including recently dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Georgia’s hotly contested Senate race.
A review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that former Publix chairperson Carol Barnett Jenkins donated a total of $110,000 to Georgia Republican election efforts in 2020.
According to FEC filings
, on Oct. 16 Jenkins made a $10,000 donation to Sen. David Perdue’s PAC, Perdue Victory Inc. Then, on Nov. 17, Jenkins dumped another $100,000 into the Senate Georgia Battleground Fund, which benefits both Perdue and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and has so far spent over $50 million in advertising for the Georgia GOP’s voter turnout operation.
This isn’t the first time Carol Barnett Jenkins has thrown an insane amount of money into a political fight. In 2016, she also donated $800,000
to a conservative-led campaign fighting to keep medical marijuana illegal in Florida.
Pumping money into politics is not unusual for the George Jenkins family tree. According to the Miami New Times
, multiple Publix offspring maxed out federal donations to Trump's 2020 campaign, including the founder's other daughter, Julia Jenkins Fancelli, and his grandchildren Gregory Fancelli and Leslie Fancelli Sonatori.
As a company, Publix has a long history of donating to conservative politicians. In 2018, Publix donated an unprecedented $670,000
to self-described "proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam's campaign for Florida governor.
There’s also the Lakeland-based grocer’s very on-brand history of fighting minimum wage increases
, suing cities that try to ban single-use plastic
, and refusing to cover "pre-exposure prophylaxis"(or PrEP) drugs that prevent HIV-negative people from contracting the virus simply because they didn’t want to
This story was originally posted at our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa.
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