A Florida congressional candidate ran afoul of his Sarasota homeowners association (HOA) when he strung up some Christmas lights spelling “Let’s Go Brandon.”
“Let’s Go Brandon is not about being derogatory to our current president,” Martin Hyde told The Florida Capital Star. “It’s about fake news. What NBC did was an outrage. If we’re not going to believe our eyes and our ears – for me that’s a statement of where we’re really at.”
Hyde is referring to a now-viral clip, filmed after NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won a race.
Behind him, the crowd can be heard chanting “F*ck Joe Biden.”
“As you can hear, the chants from the crowd – Let’s Go Brandon,” NBC reporter Kelli Stavast said during the interview, appearing to intentionally cover up what the crowd was actually saying.
“It was just my little shout out to the world that nobody should believe the fake news,” Hyde told The Star.
He said that his homeowner’s association contacted him by email the day after the display went up, demanding that he take it down.
So, Hyde went to a friendly vendor to see how quickly he could have a much larger version of the display made. He then quickly replaced his first display with a 12 foot by five foot version displaying the same slogan.
“I won’t back down. I don’t care what they say about signing HOA documents,” he said. “I’m an American citizen. I have rights. They can send me a bill. I won’t pay it anyway. They can knock themselves out.”
Hyde, who was born in Britain but is an American citizen, said he simply believes strongly in the importance of the First Amendment.
“When people say ‘you can’t say that,’ yes you can,” he told The Star. “This is America.”
He said he gathered “150 freedom loving patriots who are tired of being told which way is up” to celebrate when the new version of the display was erected.
He posted a video of the event on YouTube.
“When will I take it down? Maybe never,” Hyde said. “For people who don’t like it, they can walk on by.”
Hyde is running in a Republican primary against incumbent Vern Buchanan (R-FL-13). Their primary election is slated for August 23.
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