Facebook ad attacks candidate's breast milk donation, Pulse advocacy

Candidate denies posting ad

By Loren Korn - Reporter

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla - Jessica Realin spent Wednesday morning hitting the pavement, campaigning to be New Smyrna Beach City Commissioner for Zone 1. But she was stopped in her tracks by an ad posted on the Facebook page of opponent John Redmond.

"When I saw it, I was floored," Realin said.

The ad refers to Realin donating her breast milk and the possibility of passing on her genetic defects.

"Back in 2012, my son was born premature and I had a surplus. I was able to donate milk, over 10,000 ounces," she said.

The ad also mocks her rainbow pin that she wears to honor her husband, a former police officer who responded to the Pulse night club shooting, and to remember the 49 people who lost their lives in the massacre.

"It's one thing to talk about my family but then to talk about other families that have lost so much more," she said.

The Facebook ad was created on Tuesday but has since been deleted. However, it's already sparked outrage as Realin's supporters created a petition calling on Redmond to drop out of the race.

"It's horrible. I'm offended as anyone else who would be offended," Redmond said.

Redmond said he did not buy nor post the $100 ad and has since deleted his Facebook account.

"It did come from my Facebook account. My Facebook account was hacked. So, I did not write, I did not create, I did not post this offensive material," he said.

He also showed News 6 an alert from Facebook that someone else possibly logged into his account the same day the ad was created.

"I apologize on the behalf of the community for this having happened. Absolutely," he said.

As for Realin, she said she'll continue to campaign fair and square.

"At this point, I think I'm going to let the chips fall where they lie," she said.

The Volusia County Supervisor of Elections said Realin can report Redmond to the ethics commission for an ethics violation, but it would take a court of law to remove him from the ballot.

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