I have been reading many political social media websites lately. Facebook seems to be the best gauge of how people feel politically, as well as a good signal how candidates will act if elected to office.
There seems to be two types of political campaigning. There are those candidates who sell themselves by presenting their platforms, civic experience and leadership skills. The other type of candidates actually have nothing to sell so they spend time slinging negative comments about their opponents, hoping something “sticks.”
Negative campaigning is typically found on the national stage. Locally, candidates tend to be less venomous unless someone has an “ax to grind.”
I recently found that scenario in our own nonpartisan Ward 1 Bradenton City Council race. Two women are running against the incumbent, Gene Gallo.
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When you read the rhetoric, Ms. Devon Carr Davis seems to be leading the pack on “negative advertising.” She seems to attack Mr. Gallo relentlessly, while she has a surrogate attacking her other opponent.
Research reveals Ms. Davis has never actually done anything either for or on behalf of our city as opposed to her rivals. One opponent has built an organization for neighborhood watches. The other, Mr. Gallo, has worked tirelessly for the city as a firefighter, fire chief and city councilman. He is supported by both Bradenton police officers and firefighters, along with several other local and state level endorsements.
So why would she mount such a vicious attack? Clearly, she wants revenge. But why? Could it have something to do with her husband, Warren Merriman, who was formally terminated from the BPD just last year? And Mr. Gallo is endorsed by that same professional organization where Merriman was released.
Desperation is most unseemly and almost always ill-fated.
Gene Gallo has clearly earned my vote!