Oops: State House candidate publishes opponent’s home address on mailer

Republican incumbent Chris Latvala said he regrets the oversight.
Florida House District 67 incumbent Chris Latvala sent a mailer publishing his opponent Dawn Douglas' home address. Latvala said he regets the oversight. [Times files]
Florida House District 67 incumbent Chris Latvala sent a mailer publishing his opponent Dawn Douglas' home address. Latvala said he regets the oversight. [Times files]
Published October 31 2018
Updated October 31 2018

The incumbent for a State House district that covers Clearwater and Largo distributed a mailer printing his opponent's home address.

The mailer blasts Dawn Douglas, a teacher running against Chris Latvala for House District 67, for delinquent property taxes. Just below a block of text calling her "Delinquent Dawn," a photo of a tax bill shows her full name and Largo address.

"He published that and sent it to I don't know how many households with my address on it," said Douglas, a Democrat. "I'm a single woman. That disturbs me deeply."

Latvala, a Republican who has held the seat since 2014, said the move was an oversight. The Republican Party of Florida paid for the mailer. He and two other Republican House candidates approved it.

"It was not my intention to publish her home address," Latvala, 36, said. "I regret that that happened. But I stand by everything else."

Tax records show Douglas, 66, hasn't paid last year's $4,280 tax bill. Douglas said the home belonged to her mother until May, when the title was transferred to her. A family member who was supposed to be paying the taxes hadn't been.

Douglas paid off a delinquent bill from 2016 the day after the title transfer. She didn't have the funds to pay off the 2017 bill, she said, but she's working on it.

"This is all family matters," she said. "I haven't brought his family into anything. That would be easy."

Latvala's father, Jack Latvala, resigned from the Florida Senate last year after several women accused him of sexual harassment. A state investigation into possible public corruption cleared him of criminal charges.

Latvala said he got the information from Douglas' financial disclosure forms and didn't know the back story.

"The fact is that she still hasn't paid the taxes," he said, "and where we got that information is from a filing that she made herself."

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