Local Superintendent Campaign Causes Controversy
Words by: Rashad Stafford
Last week, Leon County Schools superintendent Jackie Pons, ran an ad accusing independent candidate, Rocky Hanna, of allegedly offering to pay for the abortion of his now 14-year-old daughter.
The ad made reference to a paternity lawsuit against a former Leon High School teacher. Hanna’s ad visually featured Hanna’s daughter name. The ad made its debut on local television during Florida State’s football game against the University of South Florida.
“We’re in trouble if Hanna treats our children like he did his own,” the ad said.
The ad has since been removed from the airwaves.
Pons issued a statement Tuesday afternoon apologizing for the ad.
The statement reads:
“I would like to apologize to Mr. Hanna and his family, our community and everyone involved. The ad was pulled from the airwaves Monday morning. I look ahead to moving forward to talk about the positive impact our district has on our community for the previous 10 years.”
“It’s disgusting,” Rocky Hanna said.
Hanna said he spoke to his daughter shortly after the ad aired.
WCTV is reporting that Pons’ longtime campaign manager Gary Yordon has left the campaign because he did not agree with the ad.
Both Pons and Hannah are not unfamiliar with each other. Both candidates served many years working within the Leon County School system. Pons is the former principal of Deerlake Middle School and assistant principal of James Rickards High School. Hanna served as the principal of Leon High School until 2012.
Tallahassee’s general election will be held on November 8, 2016.