Accusations Fly That Justin Lamar Sternad is a Republican Ringer in District 26 Democratic Primary

Categories: Politicks
Who is Justin Lamar Sternad? The local Democratic establishment doesn't seem to know, but he is running in the District 26 Democratic primary for the chance to take on controversial Republican Congressman David Rivera. Though, Sternad has nothing bad to say about Rivera. Oddly, he's using right-wing talking points to attack Joe Garcia, the presumed leader in the Democratic primary. He's also used President Obama's iconic big O election logo in campaign material, but the president's campaign will now ask him to stop using the mark.

Not a whole lot is known about Sternad. He's never run for office before, and hasn't been noticeably active in politics. He's a night time employee of the Wyndham Garden hotel in South Beach, and describes himself as a "hotel administrator." Despite being a white guy named Justin, he's prominently using his middle name Lamar, a name prevalent among African Americans, in his campaign. Broken links at the bottom of link to now deleted Twitter and Facebook accounts that use the name Justin. now redirects to Odd.

Despite raising little money and having little name recognition, CBS4 decided it would be a good idea to subject him to a lengthy interview back in May. So far it's been Sternad's most prominent campaign appearance. He's been a no-show at forums. When host Eliott Rodriguez asked Sternad about Rivera, he sidestepped the question and instead took the opportunity to attack Joe Garcia.

"It would be pretty pretentious or arrogant of me to start going after David Rivera's jugular like one of the other candidates, Joe Garcia, is doing," he said. "He's mudslinging. And I want to get through the primary. And then we'll tackle David when we get to that point. Right now, I see the problem with Joe Garcia is he's a three-time loser. He hasn't won anything. One-two-three, you're out. But in his case I think he thinks one-two-three he's in."

The Miami Herald's Naked Politics have gotten a hold of several of Sternad's campaign fliers, and a lot of them appear to be slinging mud directly at Joe Garcia, and also mix in some right wing talking points. He wants to make English the official language, and advocates for strong border control.
"Lamar is as American as Apple Pie," one mailer says. "Lamar Sternad is the only Democratic candidate that was born and raised in the United states. He will advocate for English as our official language. Americans in Florida are being discriminated against by employers who hire illegal immigrants and take jobs away from our law-abiding citizens."
Joe Garcia, by the way, was born and raised in the United States.

Another flyer compares Garcia to Newt Gingrich and John Edwards. "Just like John Edwards and Newt Gingrich, Joe Garcia abandoned his wife as she was battling cancer," says the flyer. Interestingly Rivera has brought up Garcia's divorce as well. Though, according to The Herald, Garcia's wife was actually the one to file for divorce, and has since contributed and hosted a fundraiser for her ex-husband's campaign.

A Garcia spokesman told the Herald that Sternad's campaign appears to be little more than another dirty trick by David Rivera." Rivera's campaign replies that Garcia has "obviously becoming unhinged and delusional."

So what's going on? No one really knows, but apparently the Obama campaign is none to pleased that one of Sternad's fliers prominently featured his "O" logo, and tells Naked Politics that they will ask Sternad to stop using the logo.

Perhaps tellingly, Sternad himself has remained silent, and has not been keeping up with proper campaign finance reports.

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What is going on with the media in South Florida?  I follow politics relatively close and have read this article and the two from the Herald, and find both opinionated and inflammatory towards this new candidate.  While I cannot agree with his recent personal attack on Joe Garcia (I prefer my politicians to stick to the real issues), I can certainly understand the need to put Mr. Garcia in his place.  I do not think that any one remembers that within the past two weeks, Joe  Garcia made attacks on Gloria Romero Roses. She returned the favor.  No inflammatory articles directed towards her. Also, mailers rumored to have been sent to The Keys by Lamar Sternad met harsh comments from Joe Garcia, whom has himself in a Keys Net article said, "I assume if there was an Indian vote, he'd be speaking Hindi."  I not an Indian, and I am truly offended by his remarks.  An added note, at the Miami Herald forum mentioned in the article, Gustavo Marin states, "I didn't come here to criticize Rivera."  He has not been labeled a ringer. So, it would appear that the mailer sent by this candidate struck a nerve with Garcia, or Joe Garcia is running scared and the media may have been bought by him to print these articles.  His race nor his name should not be of any concern. ("Eddie Gonzalez" candidate for district 25) has not had to endure insinuations regarding race by usage of a predominately caucasian name ("Eddie").  His name will appear as "" on the ballot not Eddie Gonzalez. Does race matter? No!  Mr. Sternad was seen driving a little red car with his wife and children during the Key Largo fourth of July parade and was in Homestead on Independence Day, and it is doubtful that he was trying to confuse voters into thinking he was African American.  Again, another opinion of the press designed to confuse voters decision.I checked out and did not find the links at the bottom to be broken as claimed in the above article.  Campaign reports are public record, they can be accessed here: be the judge, but it appears that there are filings from the Sternad Campaign to the FEC as far back as 2011.  We should be more concerned with whom can beat David Rivera, and whom can best represent those in our district.  I am left to wonder how the media can get away with posting or printing stories that have blatantly incorrect information mixed with inflammatory opinion designed to be negative towards someone that everyone claims to know little about, when they should be reporting on the facts so that the voting public can be truthfully informed going into the poll booths.

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