Old charges provide ammo for new shots at Sanibel Republican Jason Maughan.
A video ad from Bonita Springs Republican Adam Botana dubs his primary opponent “Drive-By Shooter Jason Maughan.”
The two Lee County candidates face each other in a battle for an open House seat in District 76.
The allegations will be familiar to those who remember a nasty 2016 primary when Maughan challenged incumbent Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto. Maughan lost that primary badly after a guilty plea from the ‘90s fueled the narrative around his candidacy.
In the years since, Maughan won a seat on the Sanibel City Council and rallied establishment endorsements, including one this week from retired Sheriff Mike Scott.
But political alliances with law enforcement figures haven’t erased a clear shot at a dark park of his personal history.
“Liberal Jason Maughan is trying to outrun his criminal past,” the new ad states. ”He was arrested and charged in a drive-by shooting. Assault. Reckless Endangerment. Malicious mischief.
“Driving drunk at 100 miles per hour, he fired into another car. Maughan pled guilty guilty to charges and was sentenced to jail.”
It references an incident in Spokane, Washington in 1995, while Maughan was in his 20s.
Documents obtained by Florida Politics in 2016 indicated Maughan had shot out windows of a parked car. He claimed he did not realize at the time the car was occupied, and was seeing if the laser sight on his gun could target the window. One individual was injured in the incident, the apparent source of the assault charge.
Records show Maughan eventually pled to reduced charges. He paid $1,127 in fines and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
He still came out ahead financially. Federal court records show Maughan sued prosecutor David Sandhaus over a perjury charge in 1999. The case was settled in 2000, and Maughan was awarded a $120,000 judgement.
The new ad also makes a case for Botana.
“Conservatives have a choice,” a narrator says as images of the businessman appear.
“Adam Botana is the pro-life, pro-Trump leader who will serve us with honor.”