Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Judicial Candidate Ordered to Pull Ads Featuring State Seal

UPDATED 10.10.2012 by Julie Montanaro

The secretary of state's office has sent second circuit judicial candidate Barbara Hobbs a "cease and desist" letter.

It says a television ad that features her standing in front of the Florida state seal is not permissable under Florida's Administrative Code.

Hobbs campaign manager Chauncy Haynes says neither he nor Hobbs was aware of that code. As soon as they got the letter from the Secretary of State's legal staff, he says, they pulled the ad and re-edited it.

“The public should be concerned that someone seeking to be a circuit judge can’t follow the law," said Tamayo campaign spokesman John Reid. " If she can't follow the law, how will she apply and enforce the law? This further calls into question her lack of legal ability to serve as a circuit judge.”

Haynes says Hobbs is the only one in the race with trial experience in every county in the circuit and says Hobbs is running on her record. 'That's what's we should be talking about," Haynes said.
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UPDATED 10.3.2012 by Julie Montanaro

A campaign flyer in the race for circuit judge has prompted a complaint to the judicial qualifications commisison.

We first told you about it yesterday.

The flyer in question is being mailed out by Judge Tamayo's campaign. It says "The choice is clear" and lists two endorsements as well as the results of a poll.

The ad highlights a poll in which 80% of attorneys in town said Tamayo is qualified to be judge while 55% said opponent Barbara Hobbs is not.

The Hobbs campaign calls that incomplete and misleading.

"Well, Canon seven clearly states that if you're going to give the results that you should also give the entire results and so you also state that only 13.4 percent of the attorneys in this circuit responded to this particular poll," said Hobbs campaign manager Chauncy Haynes.
"It's disturbing that someone would send out such a negative piece
and a very misleading piece, especially someone who's a member of the judiciary. We expect a higher standard." Haynes said.

The Tamayo campaign stands by the ad and says it was thoroughly reviewed by attorneys first.

"We made sure it complies with the election code, with the canons of judicial ethics that judges are supposed to follow, we're confident it's legally proper," said Tamayo campaign attorney Ron Meyer.
"She's grasping at straws to suggest that this is somehow misleading or a misrepresentation because she doesn't like the message and that's unfortunate, but it's nothing negative. There's nothing misleading about either the mailing or the television ads that are running."

Tamayo is the incumbent up for re-election in the second circuit.

Hobbs was the top vote getter in the primary, narrowly missing winning the seat outright with 49% of the vote.

You can see the Tallahasse Bar Association poll for yourself. There is a link below or you can find it at

http://www.tallahasseebar.org/resources/2012%20Judicial%20Poll%20Press%20Release.pdf

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October 2, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

A candidate for circuit judge claims the incumbent is mailing out misleading campaign ads.

Josefina Tamayo is a second circuit judge up for re-election.

The campaign manager for her opponent, Barbara Hobbs, filed a complaint with the judicial qualifications commission this afternoon.

He contends Tamayo is trying to paint Hobbs as a lay person, instead of a member of the Florida Bar and claims poll results cited in the mailers are misleading.

The complaint was filed late this afternoon. We are trying to reach the candidates for comment.


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