OPINION: Nicholson’s Blatant Social Media Campaign Lie – He Must Go!
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OPINION: By Jason Marshall
It was recently brought to my attention that former Hernando County Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Nick Nicholson, had received the endorsements of current commissioners, Jim Adkins, and Wayne Dukes. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the self-proclaimed post on Nicholson’s campaign Facebook page. To quote the message from Commissioner Nicholson, “JIM ADKINS AND WAYNE DUKES HAVE ENDORSED ME FOR MY ELECTION TO THE COUNTY COMMISSION. I AM THE PEOPLES COMMISSIONER. OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, AND BY THE PEOPLE.”
I questioned why a well-respected man, Jim Adkins, would endorse a candidate with significant legal issues, i.e., FDLE investigation over prostitution and drugs. Especially, since Commissioner Adkins sits on the canvassing board, it would be a blatant conflict of interest. I will admit – my initial reaction was to say “the good ole boys club strikes again” because my cynical feelings regarding local politics are very evident, any time I react to a local story and this one really struck me in a not-so-shocked way. Turns out, there appeared to be a small problem with Nicholson’s proclamation – there’s no truth to it.
As it turns out, Commissioner Adkins was asked about the endorsement, and he denied making it. Furthermore, such an endorsement would be strictly prohibited by Adkins. As someone that has met Commissioner Adkins and volunteered in helping to get him re-elected to his current and final term, it came as a significant relief to me to know that this was a complete fabrication by Nicholson.
However, I have reason to believe that Commissioner Dukes, while he may not have formally endorsed Nicholson, isn’t averse to serving with him again in 2017. According to my friend, Larry Ball, while attending a meeting at the First Hernando Republican Club at the Deerfield Estates clubhouse several months ago, Commissioner Dukes defended Nicholson against recent criticisms. Needless to say, as someone that voted for Commissioner Dukes in both the primary and general election in 2010, and again in 2014, I was, and still am, very disappointed that he would maintain a close relationship with Nicholson. Even more disappointed, that he would defend him, amid the firestorm that has surrounded Nicholson.
But placing what I know about Dukes’ support for Nicholson to the side for just a moment, the voters of Hernando County, particularly the Republican voters, need to ask themselves a question; between now and the August primary – would you vote for a candidate who announces a blatant lie on his campaign Facebook page? One that is not that hard to disprove? Can we say “Narcissistic?” We already have plenty of reason to call into question Commissioner Nicholson’s morals and ethics – this just adds icing to the cake.
Another question that Republican voters must ask themselves – do you really want Nicholson to be the standard bearer of the Republican Party in November, knowing that the Democrats are running with Jimmy Lodato? Jimmy is a nice guy, don’t get me wrong; however, this is the same guy that ran against Jim Adkins in 2012, in the primary, and then switched parties to run as a Democrat. I have a hard time buying into the genuine candidacy of someone that primaries a well-respected conservative, and then runs as a Democrat the very next election year.
I’m still not saying that Hernando County isn’t the home of the “good ole boys” club. If it wasn’t, I’d probably still be a member of the Republican Executive Committee. However, when a sitting commissioner attempts to deceive the voters of Hernando County, by attaching himself to another sitting commissioner, by announcing an endorsement that never took place, it tells us a couple of things. First, that he has to lie to make himself look better than he is, and secondly, that he cannot be trusted to govern in an ethical fashion, which is what WE, the citizens of Hernando deserve.
Bottom line – Commissioner Nicholson is unfit for his position and he needs to be voted out in November.