The 69-year-old sheriff of Leon County, Florida is offering to prove that he is still a good shot by using his political opponents as target practice.
On Tuesday, Think Progress published audio of Sheriff Larry Campbell talking about the importance of “pistol proficiency” during a recent public forum.
“I’ve been in it fifty or more years but I assure you this, I’m not too old to cut the mustard,” Campbell said in the audio provided by Leon County resident William Staubs. “I’m still out there… I got out with my troops. I go out there and do what needs to be done. I told somebody the other day we have police standards that we have to keep up, that we have to keep our pistol proficiency up. And we have to keep our other police professional standards up.”
He added: “And I had invited the other candidates if they don’t think I can do it, go down and let me shoot at you and see if I can do it any good.”
Campbell goes on to blast his opponent, Lisa Sprague — who he refers to as “that woman” — because she had called to have the sheriff’s office audited.
Sprague told Think Progress that she would not be joining Campbell at the firing range “unless I can shoot back.”
She also provided a signed letter (PDF) from a constituent claiming that Campbell had repeatedly referred to her as “The Bitch” during a recent luncheon. According to the ElectWomen blog, Spraque attempted to shake Campbell’s hand at an earlier forum and he responded by saying, “Fuck you!”
“Voters expect professionalism from their elected officials, law enforcement or otherwise,” Sprague explained to ElectWomen. “It’s a three-way race and my other male opponent has not been subjected to this type of treatment.”
For his part, Campbell told the Tallahassee Democrat that he “totally and unequivocally” denied calling Sprague a bitch and he had merely said, “How you?” during the forum and it was misinterpreted as “Fuck you.”
“What these people are trying to do is take somebody that the people in this community have known basically my entire life and make me out a villain,” Campbell said. “I’m not a villain. I work for the people.”
Listen to this audio from Think Progress, uploaded Sept. 11, 2012.
Watch this video from the Talahassee Democrat, broadcast Sept.