A giant beach ball of a man, Delmar Woodrow Johnson III is boisterous, always gushing with enthusiasm, and treats everybody as a best buddy. It makes perfect sense that such a friendly, outsized personality would be elected president of the student government association at Florida State University.
It made a lot less sense in January 2009 when state party chairman Jim Greer promoted Johnson, 30, to be executive director of the Florida Republican Party. And it was downright outrageous for party leaders to learn that Greer and Johnson entered into a secret contract that brought Johnson’s overall pay from the cash-strapped party to more than $400,000.
Today, fairly or not, Johnson is Exhibit A for how a state Republican party once widely seen as the strongest in the country could turn into a nearly insolvent mass of dysfunction punctuated by excess spending and misplaced values.