Local attorney Daniel Uhlfelder’s Twitter following has soared since November from less than 500 to nearly 105,000, thanks primarily to former presidential candidate and South Walton resident Mike Huckabee’s decision to file a bar complaint against him.


RELATED: Huckabee files Florida Bar complaint against customary use foe


RELATED: Walton County’s beaches can be hard to get to


He’s used that new-found platform to champion his primary cause of establishing customary use in Walton County, but also to rail against Republican Party politics. A great many of Uhlfelder’s new followers proclaim themselves part of an anti-Trump “resistance.”


How to grow your Twitter following from 400 to 66,000 in one weekend: Get into a feud with Mike Huckabee https://t.co/DIAtdNCgWg

— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) December 9, 2019

But even as his national, and even international, Twitter presence has grown, Uhlfelder’s stake in the actual customary use battle in heavily Republican Walton County is dwindling.


He recently lost two paying clients who had sided with the Walton County Commission in its legal battle to open 26 miles of local coastline to the public through a customary use declaration.


RELATED: Walton opens first new beach access in more than a decade


Dave Rauschkolb heads both Florida Beaches for All and Dragonfly Sky LLC, the two entities that have parted ways with Uhlfelder.


Rauschkolb declined to go into detail about the reasons for the split, which he called amicable, but he did say Florida Beaches for All members had decided to seek “a new legal team” of land use attorneys.


“We are singularly focused on a non-partisan effort to pass legislation to repeal the law that has made our beach unwelcoming to the general public,” Rauschkolb said.


Florida Beaches for All is working with organizations from around the state to secure passage of HB 6063 and its Senate companion bill 1680, and distancing the group from Uhlfelder’s politically charged Twitter feed could be crucial to its success as it lobbies lawmakers of all stripes for support.


Days after I posted this photo of Mike Huckabee and Lev Parnas I received notice that a false bar complaint had been filed against me by Mike Huckabee. Today we have learned that Lindsey Graham seems to be in on quite a bit. pic.twitter.com/atwiy5USDh

— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) January 29, 2020

The bills seek to repeal the 2018 law that struck down Walton County’s customary use ordinance and created chaos along its coastline by allowing beach property owners to post the white sand areas behind their homes as private.


Both repeal bills have been introduced by Democrats, and won’t get anywhere without receiving support from the Republican majority in the Florida Legislature.


A right of access to the state’s beaches is “the most bipartisan issue in the state,” Rauschkolb told a group last week. “It’s not about left and right, it’s about right and wrong.”


Rauschkolb’s pitch for bi-partisan support came at a meeting set up to begin organizing a noon, Monday rally in Tallahassee to let lawmakers know how important repealing the law created by HB 631 is to the public. A second organizational meeting has been tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday at the Lake Club at Hammock Bay in Freeport.


It is hoped the Tallahassee rally attracts customary use supporters from across the state, including a healthy contingent from Walton County, the county thus far most impacted by the passage of HB 631.


frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>

“The bill’s a long shot. We’re opposed by very powerful forces — law firms, politicians, past politicians and property rights advocates,” Rauschkolb told about 60 customary use supporters at last week’s meeting. “All we have to gain is our beaches and all we have to lose is our beaches.”


For his part, Uhlfelder said he continues to represent clients who have sided with Walton County in favor of obtaining, through legal means, a declaration of customary use. The declaration would declare the county’s beaches to be public because people have enjoyed access to them for time immemorial.


Uhlfelder said he’s also trying to find ways to use his Twitter voice in support of customary use.


“There is no more zealous advocate than me for protecting the beaches. I’m coming up with an announcement about what I’m going to be doing” he said. “I’m evaluating. I didn’t ask for all these people, and now I’m looking for ways of doing things that can support this issue and other issues. I’m trying to manage that in a positive way.”


Uhlfelder said one of the things he’s learned as his Twitter following has grown is that the opposition to him and his stance on customary use has grown with it. He said part of what he wants to address is “the issue or people with connections.”


“It’s not just the beaches. When you speak up against things, they’re so vicious about attacking you,” he said. “How can we help people who have things to say but don’t have the power to say it? We should be able to talk about things.”