BY BUDDY NEVINS
Chip LaMarca, the only Republican on the county commission, is facing a tough challenge next year from former County Commissioner Ken Keechl, a Democrat.
So why is Katie Leach, one of the School Board’s two Republicans, posing with Keechl on Facebook?
“I was (Facebook) friends with her,” LaMarca said. “I’m not anymore.”
These former allies are no longer friends (personal, political and Facebook) because of a posted pix. Welcome to politics in the world of interactive social media.
Leach and Keechl posed during the Stonewall Pridefest Parade earlier this month.
Keechl put the photo on Facebook, calling Leach a “friend” in caption.
Later, LaMarca says he ran into Leach.
“I asked her about the photo. She told me she had lots of friends,” LaMarca recalled.
Then as if to brush off LaMarca, Leach posted her own photo. It was her with Keechl and Oakland Park Vice Mayor Shari McCartney, another Republican.
Leach told her side in an e-mail to Browardbeat.com:
“(The) picture was taken while we were waiting for the Stonewall Pride Parade to start which we were all in. Apparently Commissioner LaMarca has taken offense because he sent me a text message the evening of the parade with a similar picture and said, ‘Thanks friend.’ I responded to him that ‘I am friends with lots of people,’ with the picture below. He then “unfriended” me on Facebook. If he had been there I would assume I would have taken a picture with him as well but he wasn’t in attendance.
I am surprised by all of this because I supported him during his 2010 campaign both financially and by standing at the polls on Election Day with my children. I am a long time friend and supporter of George Moraitis and his family. I am also in a picture with his potential opponent but can’t imagine (Moraitis) having any issues with it.”
LaMarca seemed hurt, but was philosophic.
“I am going ahead with my campaign based on the issues,” he said.
But he’s not over the snub.
After I hung up, he texted me, “Buddy we are ultimately judged by the company that we keep.”
Here’s a tip:
Don’t seat Leach and LaMarca together at your next event!
The picture! That’s Ken Keechl in a campaign shirt with his arm around Sheri McCartney (on left). Katie Leach on right.