Like many other citizens of our city, I am outraged at Steve Leary's conduct and his personal attack on his opponent -- calling her a racist and taking out of context her use of the historically correct term "Negro Town." I cannot sit back and say nothing about the way Leary's campaign has turned this mayoral race into a disgrace.
It is one thing to have different views on what is right for the City of Winter Park -- rampant development vs. careful managed growth; transparency in government vs. keeping residents out of the "know." The list of differences goes on.
Leary is spreading his vitriol using all available means. Peter Weldon has become little more than a mouthpiece for Leary. The Republican Party propaganda machine has poured in thousands of dollars into funding Leary's mailers and ads. Leary's attempt to debase his opponent's character with unfounded lies cannot and should not be tolerated in silence. I am not the only citizen of this town who is personally outraged by the Leary campaign.
Randy Noles, editor of Winter Park magazine, wrote, "Ms. Mackinnon's use of this phrase, in the context of a historical discussion, is accurate. Any effort to make more out of this is just willfully misleading and an insult to Ms. Mackinnon and to the intelligence of Winter Park voters."
Dr. Gary Barker wrote, "Steve Leary needs to address this now or lose any credibility he has. It's one thing to argue about trees, traffic or Trader Joe's, but to wrongly attack someone's personal honor and values is unacceptable in this or any election. Do what's right, Steve Leary, and publicly withdraw your accusations and apologize to Cynthia Mackinnon.
How can any decent citizen ever offer their candidacy for city office knowing they are likely to be personally attacked for offering you, the voter, a choice?
If this is the kind of person who could be our next Mayor, how shameful for the City of Winter Park. Consider carefully when you choose on March 10th.
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Campaign Treasurer's Reports can be found on the City of Winter Park website at http://cityofwinterpark.org/government/city-info/election-info/financial-reports/
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