‘GOP for Beautiful Statues’ flyer targets Alex Andrade, Michelle Salzman
Desecration of monuments would be a felony if this passed.

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Confederate monument-backing group hits candidates for silence on the Confederate issue.

Rep. Alex Andrade and House District 1 hopeful Michelle Salzman oppose preserving “beautiful statues,” a flyer claims.

GOP for Beautiful Statues, a Facebook group that supports preserving Confederate monuments, sent the flyers to voters Saturday.

Both Pensacola Republicans are running in contested primaries to represent parts of Escambia County in the House of Representatives. But neither candidate opposes “statewide protection” as the flyer, released the weekend before Tuesday’s Primary Election, suggests.

Andrade, a freshman Representative running for a second term, has never publicly commented on removing Confederate statues and told Florida Politics he doesn’t plan to ahead of Tuesday.

And Salzman, a political newcomer, told WUWF in July she doesn’t personally support removing Confederate monuments. But she indicated she would defer to her constituents and didn’t want to address the removal of one monument in Pensacola that isn’t located in HD 1.

Andrade and Salzman are the only Republicans named as opponents of Confederate Monuments on the flyer. Meanwhile, their opponents, HD 1 Rep. Mike Hill and Andrade’s House District 2 challenger Cris Dosev, are among 15 Republican candidates listed as supporting “criminal penalties and preservation.”

Hill has repeatedly filed legislation prohibiting the damage or removal of monuments to veterans of the Civil War, among other wars and battles. But the establishment is backing Salzman, giving the incumbent his strongest challenge yet in the district.

Dosev has aligned himself with Hill and is also coming into the race as an outsider, but an experienced one.

Both districts are ruby red, making the anti-monument accusations against Andrade and Salzman potentially damaging. It isn’t the first time either race has turned dirty.

The flyer quotes President Donald Trump as saying “save our beautiful statutes,” a misspelling that stems from an August 2017 tweet the week after Unite the Right protesters marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. That march stoked racial tensions nationwide as the President defended the protesters.

Two months later, the Trump Says: Save Our History & Beautiful Statues Facebook page was created. The page has remained active since and maintains 446 followers.

A similar flyer covered statewide and Congressional races in 2018.

“Do you agree with Pres. Trump that we should stand against Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Black Lives Matter & Anti-FA to protect our beautiful statues?” the page’s description reads.

The flyer also endorses Reps. Daniel Perez and Spencer Roach. And the group backs Sandra Atkinson, who is at the bottom of the pack in the crowded primary for House District 4 in Okaloosa County.

The leaflet lists eight Democrats it opposes, three as “certified haters,” including Rep. Geraldine Thompson.

But four Democrats get the group’s nod, including Ryan Terrell, who is disqualified in House District 7 and has been arrested twice this year on meth charges. It also endorses Carlos Irizarry in House District 43, but misspells his last name as Irizany.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


6 comments

  • John McMahon

    August 17, 2020 at 6:40 am

    It’s TIME to remove all those confederate (Democrat) monuments to the horrible institution of ( Democrat) slavery and Jim Crowe (Democrat) racist laws which destroyed black folks lives. It’s TIME to hold the political party (Democrat) that deliberately lynched people then murdered and severely wounded thousands of black folks for over 200 years via the (Democrat)segregation army also known as the KKK.
    ANYONE who denies this is history is either ignorant or an imbecile. Oh ,did I tell you they (Democrat party) started the civil war and murdered the Republican President who freed all of the slaves from bondage which cost 600,000 American lives?

    • Peter long

      August 17, 2020 at 10:50 am

      The war was fought for states rights in the bility for the South to rule themselves. The war was not over slavery. Just to prove my point actually read the mental patient Proclamation and you will learn but it did not free a single person. And if you learn history you will find out that Robert E Lee freed more slaves than Abraham Lincoln. Lee inherited for slaves in 1860 and freed all four by 1862. The Emancipation Proclamation freed nobody. It did not free the slaves in Northern States or Southern States they were controlled by northern troops. It was an attempt free slaves in the South which Lincoln had no authority over cuz the South had seceded. Second Proclamation is a proclamation not a law. Just like black history month is a proclamation it’s not a law. Columbus Day is a Federal holiday which was passed by a law making it a federal holiday. See the difference.

  • Peter long

    August 17, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Confederate memorials are veterans memorials and that’s a fact. Whether or not you agree with the politics of the war that is up to you and your interpretation. It is disrespectful and desecration do mess with a memorial to anybody for any reason. All wars are useless with a veterans that fight them need to have the memorials and be remembered.

    • Mary Stevens

      August 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

      John: People tend to have amnesia when it comes to how slAves got here. Initially, the Spanish, British and Portuguese brought slAves to America. Then, it was the Whigs/Republicans from the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware And New Hampshire who brought them here. They made a fortune off the slave trade business. And African tribal leaders sold their own captives into slavery. At the end of the 1700s there were more slaves in New York than in Georgia.

    • DisplacedCTYankee

      August 24, 2020 at 8:35 am

      Confederate statues are memorials to traitors.

  • John McMahon

    August 17, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Mary, you’re correct however you tell a story but not the whole story about slavery. My sources are The Library Of Congress, U.S. Congress, and The Richmond Virginia Historical Society. My post was 100% accurate, and so is yours however, cotton grows real nice year round and so does tobacco! Cotton and tobacco are southern GOLD and it doesn’t grow in Ohio or New York. I happen to have been educated by a system that covered up the evidence against the Democratic Party ( my party) and this WAS a war about slavery . The institution was ended by the Republican Party with blood shed because all negotiations failed. I believe reparations were paid by America in blood.

Comments are closed.


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