The Tucson, Arizona school board is embroiled in a vicious recall campaign after it came out that superintendent Manuel Isquierdo is having financial and legal issues. Four of the five school board members are facing recall, including Daniel Hernandez, Jr.
For those who do not remember him, Hernandez is the openly gay former staffer for Gabby Giffords. He emerged as a hero from the shooting that took the lives of six, and nearly claimed Giffords’ life. He was seen cradling her and preventing her from being the seventh fatality.
Hernandez along with Buck Crouch voted against extending Isquierdo’s contract back in June. Isquierdo supporters Louie Gonzalez and Bobby Garcia are both also facing recall efforts.
The problem for Hernandez is not just that he is facing a recall, but he is facing a vicious and anonymous anti-gay campaign. One flyer reads “Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board. Daniel Hernandez is LGBT. We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values. RECALL Daniel Hernandez TODAY.”:
Another flyer claims that Hernandez wants to take people’s guns away:
Parents have informed Hernandez about the flyers, which are being distributed outside schools in at least five of the twenty-three of the schools inside the district. Hernandez told the Huffington Post that “I’ve had a target on my back from my fellow board members for awhile because I don’t go with the flow, and if something doesn’t sound right or make sense, I call them out on it.”
The ‘real man’ attack has been used against Hernandez in the past, specifically when he ran against Garcia. Gonzalez’ campaign manager, Marcos Castro, is the one running the recall effort against Hernandez and Crouch. Castro claims “I don’t have nothing to do with” the anti-gay flyers.
Regarding the recall effort, Hernandez has stated “My governing board president has started the recall process on me, with the people who are his friends and closest allies in the community. 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. 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.”