In the interim Independent candidate, and current Councilman Deonte Hollowell, was chosen as a compromise candidate to fill the Council seat until the general election on November 2. Many people were surprised by this announcement to be sure but no one was more surprised than Democrat Ken Herndon who had actively lobbied for the seat and believed he was the heir apparent. Many in the community agreed. To an extent.
But then Ken Herndon was bypassed by the Democratic party in favor of nominating David James to be the nominee on behalf of the party for the November election. Got all that yet?
Ken decided he didn't like that outcome either so he filed to run as a write in candidate which is perfectly legal.
But there are problems now.
It seems behind the scenes the Democratic party is imploding over this whole mess. Judy Greene is working for Ken Herndon behind the scenes regardless of her public statements that she would support the party nominee. State Democratic Party treasurer, and current Metro Councilman David Tandy, is working on behalf of Independent Deonte Hollowell against the by laws of the Democratic party, and David James is being attacked from many fronts and accused of being a Jim King insider.
A whole lot of negative to be sure but honestly I have not seen the negative come from David James or Deonte Hollowell.With so much going on one would think we were voting for President but I digress.
Their is a point of contention going on behind the scenes that has now spilled out to the public thanks to who? Yep Ken Herndon.
Ken has not been shy about doing anything and everything he can to get this seat, including challenging the entire Democratic Party itself, yet there is questionable behavior from Ken Herndon at this point and these questions need answers.
It involves a youth program called the California Jets who are well known throughout District 6 and whether they are endorsing anyone to fill George Unseld's shoes.
Ken Herndon is passing around literature claiming that he has a whole host of supporters including the backing of the California Jets youth league Board. He includes a letter with a list of names that include Jets President Latanya Hawkins and it looks authentic right?
This letter from the Jets clearly sent AFTER the ballot had been decided.It is interesting that Herndon would use the first letter and display the name of Ms. Hawkins on behalf of the Jets as supporting his write in candidacy. Ms. Hawkins has denied, on behalf of the Jets, endorsing anyone in this race. The second letter clearly states as much and includes her signature as President of the Jets.
Ms. Hawkins told me herself that "we are not endorsing anyone in this race. The only thing we ask is that whoever wins fulfills the commitments Councilman Unseld held dear and follows in his footsteps."
When I alerted Ms. Hawkins to the fact that Ken Herndon was using this letter publicly and showing that the Jets do indeed endorse him she had no knowledge of it. I believe her. Who would not remember letting someone use their name publicly like this?
She told me that the Jets DID back Ken Herndon during the special vote session of the Council, when they were seeking to replace the late Councilman Unseld, because at that time he was the only one they knew in the District that was running. The Council chose differently and that was the extent of the involvement of the Jets.
This was prior to any nominating process or candidates on the ballot for November.
Since the first letter clearly uses an attack on David James (who was not a candidate during the special vote), shows Ken Herndon as a write in candidate (he wasn't since he was waiting on the nominating process by the Democratic Party), then the Jets clearly could not have made the endorsement Herndon claims they did.
Folks that is a major problem with integrity by Ken Herndon.
To imply someone has endorsed you when the evidence shows they haven't is a huge problem for many. It is also a sad testament once again to the depths a candidate would go to get elected.
Think about it. The California Jets are a youth organization and their football team is a bright spot for the community. How can they answer this?
Do they publicly state that Ken Herndon lied when he could possibly be their next Councilman and they will need help from his discretionary fund to help the kids?
Do they say they support Ken Herndon as a write in only to see him lose on election day and then have to face David James or Deonte Hollowell and ask for money?
This is the "back them into a corner strategy" but a strategy I don't accept.
The Jets are a youth league and there are kids involved. To make a blatant misrepresentation of the facts that will affect this program, one way or the other when all is said and done, makes a mockery of integrity and character in elections.
Quite honestly it is a slap in the face to the late George Unseld as well.
This is a matter of truth in advertising by someone who publicly seeks our confidence and vote.
I am not impressed by Herndon's antics in many ways but have remained silent. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because of the negative attacks against him in 2008 that were beyond belief. Ken has been using this as a catalyst for some time now and has been playing the victim card this whole campaign. Fair enough how he campaigns is his business.
This case is different. You do not misrepresent kids or the groups that represent them.
To do so is telling.