James McLynas

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James McLynas
James McLynas for Pinellas County Sheriff.jpg
Personal details
Born
James Edward McLynas

New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
affiliations
Independent (2016–2020)
Children1
ResidenceIndian Shores, Florida
Websitemclynasforsheriff.com

James Edward McLynas[1] is an American police reform activist and candidate for sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida. A victim of police abuse in Pinellas, McLynas is a vocal critic of incumbent sheriff Bob Gualtieri and has worked to expose police corruption, namely among the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office under Gualtieri's tenure.[2][3] McLynas ran against Gualtieri, a Republican, in 2016 as an Independent and earned over 100,000 votes despite limited campaigning and media coverage.[4][a] McLynas sought the Democratic Party's nomination in 2020, but lost the primary to Eliseo Santana. McLynas has pledged to run again in 2024 and continues to be involved in activism.

Personal life[edit]

McLynas was born in New York City and raised in Detroit,[4][6] where he attended St. Mary's of Redford High School.[7][8] He later moved to Pinellas County, Florida.[6] He is divorced and was awarded custody of his daughter.[6]

McLynas has a passion for classic automobiles that has been noted in several publications.[9][10][11][12] In 2017, McLynas received local attention when his custom boat car, nicknamed the "Boatswagon", was featured on Bay News 9 after the Seminole Recreation Department started a social media campaign to find its owner in an attempt to bring the car to the city's annual holiday parade, which McLynas agreed to participate in; the "Boatswagon" was inspired by the "boatmobiles" in SpongeBob SquarePants.[13]

Police abuse victim[edit]

Beginning in 2009, McLynas and his estranged wife disputed over the custody of their daughter.[14] She allegedly became violent towards James, but James did not believe it was appropriate to hit his wife in self-defense, so he called 9-1-1.[15] When a male Pinellas deputy arrived to the home, according to James, his wife and the deputy went into their bedroom alone, and a few minutes later McLynas' wife had new scratch on her arm and accused James of domestic violence against her.[15][2][3] After James was arrested, his wife admitted to making up the false allegation, yet she was never charged.[15][2] McLynas claimed his wife later began "dating" the same Pinellas deputy who arrested him, along with two others from the Pinellas Sheriff's Office; two from the Clearwater Police Department and one from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.[15][2][3] McLynas claimed these officers harassed him over the next five years; in 2016, McLynas said there were over 150 false police reports, 7 fraudulent Domestic Violence Injunctions (DVI's), and 22 false Child Protective Investigation reports filed against him and four false arrests from 2009 to 2015.[15][2][3]

Campaigns for Pinellas County Sheriff[edit]

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who is often the target of criticism from McLynas

2016[edit]

In August 2013, McLynas privately informed Gualtieri that he would challenge him for sheriff in the 2016 election to "expose his corruption".[15][2][16][3] On October 28, McLynas' 60 pound, 10-year-old daughter was handcuffed and arrested in an incident he believed was politically motivated.[15][3] Then on October 30— the day before his custody hearing, McLynas was arrested on five felony charges in what he alleged was Gualtieri's attempt to keep him out of court and lose custody of his daughter, and thus drop his campaign for sheriff.[17][15][2][18][3] It was later revealed that Gualtieri used a Stingray phone tracker to track McLynas down.[17][15][2][18][19] At his final custody hearing, the judged ruled that McLynas' wife and the police colluded against James, and he was awarded 100% custody of his daughter while incarcerated— a first in Florida history.[15][2][3] All charges against McLynas were dropped and he publicly announced his candidacy for sheriff after being released from jail on November 1.[20][18]

McLynas persisted through his 2016 campaign; although he finished second to Gualtieri, following the results on the night of the election, he immediately pledged to run again in 2020.[21]

Endorsements[edit]

2020[edit]

McLynas' logo is used in a reverse graffiti campaign, as seen in Clearwater, Florida in September 2020, after his primary loss

On August 7, 2017, McLynas gave a speech addressing the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) in St. Petersburg, in which he exposed Gualtieri's "secret" chase policy, following the road incident deaths of black children who were pursued by Pinellas deputies who did not have their emergency lights flashing.[25]

On March 14, 2019, McLynas formally filed to run in the 2020 election; at the time he intended on running under no party affiliation (NRA).[26][27] Upon paying the qualifying fee on June 10, 2020, McLynas decided to run as a Democratic candidate.[26][28] McLynas qualified by reaching enough donations to pay the $10,303.56 fee; he claimed that Gualtieri made petition signature gathering illegal, citing the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, in an attempt to prevent him from qualifying on the ballot.[28] McLynas faced a primary challenge from Eliseo Santana.[29]

McLynas participated in the first sheriff's forum of the 2020 election, hosted by Dream Defenders, on June 17.[30] In this forum Gualtieri spoke alone the first hour, while McLynas and Santana shared the second hour together.[31] McLynas has called out Gualtieri for refusing to debate him, calling him a coward.[32][33][34] Gualtieri acknowledged that he refused to debate McLynas over a series of photo-shopped pictures and memes criticizing him.[30]

During the final weeks of the primary, McLynas and his volunteers participated in a reverse graffiti campaign, in which they power washed his campaign logo on public spaces all over the county; McLynas accused Gualtieri of violating his First Amendment rights by using county funds to remove the "campaign messages" created at the county courthouse and near the sheriff's house, among other places.[35][36][37][38]

In the Democratic primary on August 18, McLynas finished second to Santana.[39] He has pledged to run again in 2024.[40][41]

YouTube channel[edit]

Although McLynas launched a YouTube channel in 2016 during his first campaign, it did not receive much attention until his second campaign in 2020; while McLynas only had a little over 30 subscribers in June 2019, his audience grew to over five thousand subscribers by June 2020.[42][43]

In January 2020, McLynas published a video of an encounter with Pinellas deputies that earned over 42,000 views within five days.[44][45] In another videotaped incident published in February 2020, McLynas encountered difficulties making a standard public records request; when the clerk refused service to him, she brought in six deputies to question him.[46] McLynas claimed his constitutional rights were violated, that he was harassed and physically assaulted twice, and that the deputies made up numerous false allegations against him in an attempt to arrest him; McLynas believed this was another attempt by Gualtieri to interfere in the election.[46]

Website[edit]

McLynas launched his campaign website, mclynasforsheriff.com, in May 2020.[47]

Campaign platform[edit]

McLynas' campaign website consists of ten pillars detailing his platform positions.[48]

  1. Responsibly end the war on drugs[49]
  2. Reduce costs and lower taxes[50]
  3. Limit use of weapons violence and force[51]
  4. End warrantless citizen spying[52]
  5. Community outreach help and support[53]
  6. Body cams & police accountability[54]
  7. Training & retraining[55]
  8. Ending all "policing for profits"[56]
  9. A constitutional sheriff 24/7 365[57]
  10. Justice reforms[58]
PCSO history and corruption[edit]

McLynas' campaign website features an extensive background of the history of the PCSO, from its founding in 1912 to present time.[59] It also features a page detailing PCSO corruption, namely under Gualtieri's tenure.[60]

Endorsements[edit]

Political affiliations[edit]

McLynas has described himself as a "constitutional" candidate for sheriff.[57] McLynas ran for sheriff of Pinellas County under no party affiliation (NPA) in the 2016 election.[64] McLynas qualified as a Democratic candidate for sheriff of Pinellas County in the 2020 election.[65]

Electoral history[edit]

2016 Pinellas County Sheriff general election[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bob Gualtieri (incumbent) 345,283 76.89
Independent James McLynas 101,230 22.54
Write-in Write-ins (other) 2,530 0.56
Total votes 449,043 100
2020 Pinellas County Sheriff Democratic primary[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eliseo Santana 54,803 59.73
Democratic James McLynas 36,946 40.27
Total votes 91,749 100

Publications and interviews[edit]

Publications
Interviews
  • Metz, George. Interview with Rogue Nation (January 8, 2020).[68][69]
  • Interview with Concrete Pillow (April 22, 2020).[70]
  • Wasserman, Craig; Wasserman, Marc. Interview with Pot Brothers at Law (June 5, 2020).[71][61]
  • Interview with BOLT Action News Group (June 9, 2020).[72][73]
  • Graham, Taya. Interview with The Real News (June 18, 2020).[74]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) claimed that McLynas set a record for most votes by an independent candidate in a local Florida election.[5]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (August 14, 2020). "POLICE HARASS SHERIFF'S CANDIDATE WITH UNIQUE SIGN CAMPAIGN". YouTube. Event occurs at 33:14. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Two Victims of Police Harassment & Abuse Run For Sheriff in Florida To Expose Corruption". Nevada CopBlock. June 24, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Griesinger, Richard (March 1, 2020). "My Five Years of Systematic Police Harassment in Pinellas County, Florida". Medium. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "James Mclynas". Coalition for a Competitive Florida. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  5. ^ InPDUM (June 5, 2017). "THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE CONTINUES!". The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "About James McLynas". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  7. ^ "2016 Elections". League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg Area. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "James McLynas". League of Women Voters of St. Petersburg Area. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  9. ^ MotoArigato (April 11, 2013). "Florida Man Saves Pierce-Arrow Land Speed Record Car Featured on American Pickers". Oppositelock. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  10. ^ Kelly, Godwin (May 11, 2013). "Rare 1931 race car has unknown history". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. DAYTONA BEACH. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Womeldurf, Bryce (July 18, 2013). "Speed Record Car is a Time Capsule of Mystery". HOONART. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Teeters, K. Scott (December 18, 2018). "Origins of the iconic 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window design". Super Chevy. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Bay News 9 (November 10, 2017). "Owner of 'boat car' found, will participate in Seminole holiday fest". Bay News 9. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Clearwater, Fla., Officer Under Investigation". Law Officer. November 29, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (June 6, 2016). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Times staff (October 21, 2016). "Pinellas Sheriff's candidate sues agency, saying it violated public records law". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Morel, Laura C. (April 22, 2016). "Pinellas Sheriff's Office is using a tool that can turn your phone into a tracking device". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c Varn, Kathryn (October 27, 2016). "Race for Pinellas sheriff draws incumbent and vocal critic of agency". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Sladick, Kelli (June 7, 2017). "Inside the Secretive and Intrusive World of Stingray Surveillance". Tenth Amendment Center. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  20. ^ "Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections > Candidates & ..." Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  21. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (November 8, 2016). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c d e f James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (October 28, 2016). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  23. ^ McLynas, James. "The Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officer's Association Endorses McLynas For Sheriff". Scribd. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Roby, Jeff (July 28, 2018). "Pinellas Greens Statement On Clearwater Racist Murder: "Gualtieri, Get The Hell Out Of Pinellas!"". Green Party of the United States. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  25. ^ "St. Petersburg InPDUM holds press conference in response to the murder of three African boys!". Uhuru Solidarity Movement. August 13, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "James McLynas". Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  27. ^ Varn, Kathryn (January 2, 2020). "Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri files for reelection". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  28. ^ a b James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (June 10, 2020). "JAMES MCLYNAS OFFICIALLY ON THE BALLOT FOR PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF!". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  29. ^ Taylor, Janelle Irwin (June 12, 2020). "The ballot is set for Pinellas County races". Florida Politics. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Black families are fighting for their lives. Tonight's meaningful conversation with Pinellas County Sheriff candidates about accountability, fair enforcement of the law, decarceration, evictions, and more. Let's put people in office who will share our values as communities of color. Your vote is your voice...Be heard!". Tampa Bay Breakfast Club. June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  31. ^ Talbot, Peter (June 18, 2020). "Pinellas sheriff, rival candidates discuss accountability in online forum". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  32. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (June 8, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  33. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (June 16, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  34. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (June 19, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  35. ^ Razzano, Tiffany (July 31, 2020). ""I could use the publicity" Pinellas Sheriff Candidate's Power Washed Campaign". The Free Press- Tampa. PINELLAS COUNTY. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  36. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (August 4, 2020). "County Sheriff has County Employees and Inmates Paint Over Opponent's Campaign Signs!". YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  37. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (August 7, 2020). "Candidate for Pinellas County Sheriff James McLynas' Amazing Reverse Graffiti Campaign!". YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  38. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (August 15, 2020). "Recording Gualtieri Crimes Bob Is Violating Campaign Law". YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  39. ^ Varn, Kathryn (August 18, 2020). "Eliseo Santana wins Democratic Primary for Pinellas Sheriff". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  40. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (August 18, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  41. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (August 21, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  42. ^ James McLynas. "James McLynas". YouTube. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  43. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff. "James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff". YouTube. Archived from the original on June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  44. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (January 5, 2020). "Pinellas County Deputies Swarm and Threaten Candidate for Sheriff for Videotaping". YouTube. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  45. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (January 10, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  46. ^ a b James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (February 25, 2020). "Pinellas County Florida Sheriff Robert Gualtieri Tries to Have His Political Opponent Arrested AGAIN". YouTube. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  47. ^ James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County (May 1, 2020). "James McLynas for Sheriff of Pinellas County - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  48. ^ "PLATFORM POSITIONS". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  49. ^ "RESPONSIBLY END THE WAR ON DRUGS". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  50. ^ "REDUCE COSTS AND LOWER TAXES". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  51. ^ "LIMIT USE OF VIOLENCE AND FORCE". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  52. ^ "END WARRANTLESS CITIZEN SPYING". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  53. ^ "COMMUNITY OUTREACH HELP AND SUPPORT". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  54. ^ "BODY CAMS & POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  55. ^ "TRAINING AND RETRAINING". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  56. ^ "END ALL POLICING FOR PROFIT". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  57. ^ a b "A CONSTITUTIONAL SHERIFF 24/7 365". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  58. ^ "JUSTICE REFORMS". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  59. ^ "PCSO History". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  60. ^ "PCSO Corruption". McLynas for Sheriff. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  61. ^ a b James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (June 5, 2020). "Pot Brothes At Law Interview and ENDORSE James McLynas for Sheriff". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  62. ^ Omali Yeshitela (August 18, 2020). "Chairman Omali Yeshitela - Videos". Facebook. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  63. ^ Eritha Akilé Cainion for District 7 City Council (August 18, 2020). "Eritha Akilé Cainion for District 7 City Council - Posts". Facebook. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  64. ^ "2016 Election Cycle - Sheriff - James McLynas". Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  65. ^ "2020 Election Cycle - Sheriff - James McLynas". Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  66. ^ "2016 Sheriff General - Election Results Vote Type Summary". Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. November 18, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  67. ^ "Results - Sheriff". Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  68. ^ BOLT Action News Group (January 8, 2020). "James McLynas for Pinellas County Sheriff INTERVIEW". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  69. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (January 9, 2020). "Rogue Nation Interviews James McLynas, Candidate for Sheriff of Pinellas County Florida in 2020". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  70. ^ Concrete Pillow (April 22, 2020). "Interview with James McLynas - candidate for Sheriff of PInellas County, FL". Anchor. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  71. ^ Pot Brothers at Law (January 5, 2020). "The SHUT THE FUCK UP SHOW Episode #4". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  72. ^ BOLT Action News Group (June 9, 2020). "Tuesday Night BANG: James McLynas Florida's Constitution Friendly Sheriff Candidate Talks To BOLT!!". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  73. ^ James McLynas For Pinellas County Sheriff (June 10, 2020). "Sheriff's Candidate James McLynas joins Bolt Action News Group for a candid open discussion". YouTube. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  74. ^ "Why Do American Police Keep Shooting People In The Back?". The Real News. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.

External links[edit]