Daniel Hernandez, who gained public praise for saving then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) life during a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona is being targeted by both a recall campaign from his own public office and a series of homophobic flyers.
The Huffington Post reported on Monday that while Daniel Hernandez is the focus of a formal effort to oust him from his seat on the Sunnyside Unified School Board, which governs southern Tucson and other parts of Pima County.
But flyers bearing messages like, "Put a real man on the Sunnyside Board [sic]" and "We don't need a high flying board member" have also surfaced at five of the 23 schools in the district, attacking Hernandez not only for being a gay man, but for his stance on firearms safety. One of the flyers also exhorts residents, "We need someone who will support Sports [sic] and care about our kids."
The official drive to recall Hernandez was initiated by supporters of Sunnyside board president Louie Gonzales following Hernandez's vote not to extend the contract of then-superintendent Manuel Isquierdo in June. It must amass 1,300 signatures by Dec. 14 to bring the issue to a public vote. Gonzales' campaign manager, Marcos Castro, is leading the recall effort but denied any connection to the anonymous flyers to both the Post and Right Wing Watch.
"I don't have nothing to do with it," he told the Post.
Hernandez told the Post that he first heard the "real man" taunt during his successful campaign against Bobby Garcia, a supporter of Isquierdo.
"I'm not overly concerned they're going to get the 1,300 signatures, but just the negative tone and nature of the way they're doing it has been really bothersome and upsetting," he said to the Post. "It's disheartening that this is where we are in 2013, that people think it's okay to put out these kinds of flyers about anybody."
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