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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ocala resident shares thoughts on House District 24 special primary election

To the Editor:

The Republican primary special election to determine the winner for progression to the general election for State Representative District 24 was drama-filled and controversial. It was a good example of the blood sport politics has become. Ryan D. Chamberlin withstood the onslaught of negative ads and other hit pieces.

I can somewhat relate to the situation concerning the effect of negative ads by going back to 2012 when I was heavily involved in the campaign to keep Munroe Regional Hospital from being leased to a corporate hospital operator. Nearly $250,000 was spent on that campaign, including my own sizable contribution.

Out of the blue came a Political Action Committee (PAC) from Tallahassee that put together a campaign of misleading information and a distortion of facts. That PAC spent about half of the amount spent attempting to keep Munroe as a community hospital and defeated the effort to avoid privatization by a huge margin.

I remember my disappointment, as well as that of the many contributors to the campaign. On the winning side was much gloating and high fives from the locals who were for leasing Munroe.

What is interesting is that some of that winning group are now whining and complaining about the results of the District 24 election and how bad these PAC campaigns are. Hypocritical, but PAC’s can have an amazing result on the conduct and results of political campaigns. One thing I have not seen is any gloating or rubbing it in from the Republican primary winner.

Of course, the winners told me to “suck it up because the voters have spoken.” That was good advice to me back in 2012 and it would seem good advice to those who supported losing candidates in the recent Republican primary.

Stanley Hanson
Ocala resident