Sandi Kemp, the publisher and owner of the Navarre Press newspaper, has made good on her threat to file a defamation lawsuit against outgoing Santa Rosa County Commissioner Rob Williamson.

The lawsuit, which seeks damages of over $15,000, claims mailers Williamson sent out during his ultimately unsuccessful campaign for re-election subjected Kemp and the newspaper “to public hatred, distrust, ridicule and contempt.”

“The original complaint which has led to this lawsuit was never about achieving an election result," Kemp said. "It’s about right versus wrong, integrity over dishonesty, and defending the honor of my dedicated team whose only agenda is delivering the truth."

Williamson's actions, the suit claims, “tend(ed) to harm (Kemp and the paper’s) reputation in the estimation of the community, deterring, third persons from associating or dealing with them.”

The lawsuit claims false statements made by Williamson in his mailers constitute defamation “because they harm (Kemp and the paper) in the business trade and profession by striking at (their) professional competence, capacity, fitness, skills and character necessary to (their) carrying out the business and purposes of the Navarre Press.”

As evidence that her allegations are true, Kemp provided the Northwest Florida Daily News with a taped telephone message she claims to have received on Aug. 20, after the mailers in question went out.

“I just love the way you liberals try to interfere with everyone else’s life and tell them what to do and the nastiness that comes across,” the female caller said, after notifying Kemp that she had received a Williamson mailer.

“Lady, you’re not going to have a chance with your paper once this gets out,” the caller said.

Efforts to reach Williamson by phone and email were unsuccessful.

In the run up to the Aug. 28 election, Williamson sent out three campaign mail-outs that Kemp alleged distorted or fabricated the truth. At the time, Kemp threatened to sue if Williamson did not retract what he’d published. He declined to do so, the lawsuit states.

One of the flyers the Navarre Press is suing over appeared to have badly distorted a text message conversation between Kemp and Williamson.

On the flyer, what appears to be a screen shot taken of a cell phone carries a texted conversation. It reads:

Rob Williamson: “What’s wrong with me supporting Trump?”

Sandi Kemp: “The picture with Don Jr. I don’t know how you can look at yourself in mirror. You look ill.

“I truly feel sorry for you so do many others – many.”

“But they aren’t voting for you. Please get the help you need.”

Rob Williamson: “This is my county phone. You can harass me online or in your newspaper about supporting Trump, but not at taxpayer expense. Have a good day.”

Kemp's attorney claims the text exchange Williamson used as a campaign tool did not occur.

The actual texts sent, according to records produced by Santa Rosa County, were:

Kemp: “What a liar you are and you paid for the picture with Don Jr. I don’t know how you can look at yourself in the mirror. You look ill. It must be difficult to live such a duplicitous life. I truly feel sorry for you – and so do many others — many. But — they aren’t voting for you. Please get the help you need .. for your sake and your family. Praying for you. Seriously.”

Williamson: “Thank you for your prayers.”

Kemp and the Navarre Press have a history of conflict with Williamson.