New Smyrna Beach, FL – An online petition calling for the end to his candidacy because of a controversial political advertisement on Facebook isn’t changing John Redmond’s mind on becoming a New Smyrna Beach city commissioner.
Despite the public backlash he received last week for what he calls an unauthorized ad placed on his Facebook page by a hacker, Redmond plans to stay in the race for the Zone 1 seat until next week’s primary elections.
“I think that the fact that this hack occurred points to the importance of this election for New Smyrna Beach,” Redmond added.
Redmond is facing three other candidates in that race, including Jessica Realin – the subject of that advertisement – as well as Peggy Belflower and Michael Kolody.
Even though he says he didn’t place the ad – one which claimed Realin had “inferior genes” she was passing on through breast milk donations – Redmond did apologize for what happened, saying the resulting controversy wasn’t fair to him or Realin.
“I’m apologizing to the community that this incident happened,” Redmond noted. “My apology is not a ‘mea culpa’ on my part. I’m terribly sorry that this even occurred, but I didn’t post the material.”
The ad – which he says he discovered early Tuesday afternoon – led him to delete his campaign’s Facebook page as well as his personal Facebook page, and Redmond says he’s going to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.
Redmond admits he doesn’t know who may have hacked his page, nor does he have any proof of who may have done it, but he suspects it may have been people who want to harm to his campaign, which he describes as one to try and limit property development in New Smyrna Beach.
“It seems to me for this hack to occur and this attack on, really, both of us, to have happened, it means that my message is perceived as being a threat to something,” Redmond stated.
Redmond did say he got an email from Facebook soon after discovering the ad which showed some unusual login activity to his account.
The primary election on August 28th also features the mayor’s race in New Smyrna Beach, which has six candidates on the ballot.