Hernando County commission candidate Isaiah Haddon (pictured, right) says recent mailers sent to local voters are “gross and inaccurate.”
Hernando residents received mailers smearing the District 1 County Commission candidate this week. The mailer labels Haddon as a socialist and uses epithets like “Marxist, anarchy and radical,” to describe his political outlook.
Haddon disavowed the mailer, saying that most of its claims are false (Haddon was, in fact, endorsed by a Florida Bernie Sanders supporter group). He added that his peace walk was not a Black Lives Matter protest and is in constant conversation with local law enforcement.
“We quite frankly don’t have any association with the Black Lives Matter organization and they probably would not want any association with us because I work with the police and want a good relationship,” he said.
Haddon faces Beth Narverud in the Nov. 3 general election.
The political attack mailer was paid for and sent from Voter Response, which is a group that publicly distributes information on a specific candidate within 60 days of the general election. Different mailers were also sent to voters by Narverud’s campaign, but the message was different. She was instead labeled a trusted community leader.
Creative Loafing Tampa Bay reached out to Narverud for comment and will update with any response. Narverud has yet to respond to CL’s inquiries about why should has ignored Haddon’s calls for a debate ahead of Election Day.
The mailers arrived in local mailboxes just days aheads of an announcement that the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association would endorse Haddon over Narverud—the endorsement is notable since Narverud is a former school board member.
On Oct. 14, Haddon took to Facebook to call for a public debate between him and his opponent to no avail. Instead, he participated in a bipartisan conversation with moderator Danish Hasan and local Republican Michah Kahler, organized by the Black Coalition of Hernando County. Kahler told CL that he will vote for Haddon, despite being a Republican. He added that the biggest failure of Hernando’s local politics is the failure of voters to objectively observe each candidate.
“People in Hernando County vote for Republican’s just because they are Republican,” Kahler said. “In the end, Isaiah is more conservative than many of the politicians in Hernando County because he wants to decrease taxes and put money into the community.”
Haddon later agreed with Kahler's sentiment of conservatism in many of his own proposals. Haddon does not want to defund the police and supports school resource officers in Hernando County public schools.
So far about 52,000 ballots have been cast in Hernando County, the majority of which are Republican, according to the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections website.
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