April Carney, the DeSantis-endorsed candidate for Florida’s Duval County Public Schools District 2, said her leftist opponent’s husband attempted to intimidate her while intoxicated after she appeared as a guest speaker at the First Coast Republican Club meeting last week.
Carney, a member of the club and mother of two, was one of the guest speakers at the meeting, which took place at Whiskey Jax Kitchen & Cocktails restaurant in Atlantic Beach last week. As is protocol, the president of the club, Mitch Reeves, made it clear it was a private meeting that was not to be recorded and asked people to put their cellphones away.
Carney, along with fellow guest speaker Quisha King, a local activist, took the stage to speak. Carney noticed someone across the restaurant who “immediately” began recording. Carney said the man looked familiar, but she could not discern who he was at the time. She motioned to her husband, who eventually walked up to the individual, who was standing alongside another man, and asked them to stop, but this was to no avail. She said her husband also offered to have her talk to the individual after the meeting to answer any questions or discuss her campaign literature, but he refused to stop recording.
As it turns out, one of the men was her opponent’s husband, Martin Andersen. The other was David Hathaway, who school board member Elizabeth Andersen appointed to the half-cent penny oversight committee. Hathaway was the one recording the event and is a self-described “Gun Violence Prevention activist” who deems conservatism “a total fraud to benefit a very small fe[w] at the cost to us all” and who recently described the GOP as “fkn liars!”
Carney was told that a great deal of alcohol was being consumed as the men allegedly heckled members of the meeting during the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
But after the meeting, Carney went outside to speak with the president of the club, and both men approached, “clearly drunk,” allegedly attempting to give the president a hard time. Carney said they then noticed her and walked toward her, blocking her path back to the restaurant. She was able to throw her bag over her shoulder and get them out of the way. She then told her husband what had happened. She said neither of them had touched her, but her husband went out to the parking lot. Elizabeth Andersen’s husband then approached him, introduced himself, and allegedly tried to dismiss the incident, contending that it is “not who we are as a campaign.”
Carney filed an informational report with the police just to have something for her records, but she made it clear that they made her feel “extremely uncomfortable.”
“I would like to ask Ms. Andersen why she would send her husband and the District 2 appointee for the Sales Tax Oversight Committee to come and intimidate another woman,” Carney said of the incident.
“For someone who is being well funded to the tune of $100,000 from the American Federation of Teachers, I don’t understand why Ms. Andersen feels she needs to resort to such measures against her opponent. It’s very disappointing. I shouldn’t feel that I need to hire security when I go to speaking events,” she continued, making it clear that she has “nothing but respect for the individual classroom teachers.”
“But these teacher union bosses and politicians have a well-established history of dirty campaigning tactics,” she said. “I will not let this deter me from doing what is best for Duval County families, students and teachers.”
The DeSantis-endorsed candidate also told Breitbart News that she is working to keep politics out of children’s education.
“This is about what’s best for the future of our communities. At the end of the day, our kids are what’s most important,” she said, adding that these types of intimidation tactics “are not conducive to doing what’s best for our community.”
“We need to keep the politics out of our children’s education,” she said, emphasizing the need to teach children how to be “productive members of society.”
“That’s the whole reason why I’m running for school board, but we need to be taking care of our teachers and our students,” she added.
The primary election will take place on August 23, 2022.