58. DeLand mayoral candidate Pat Johnson: Daytona Beach News-Journal portrayed him as slick used car salesman

Top 100 Local Stories of 2014 in Central Florida / Headline Surfer®
Pat Johnson, 2014 candidate for mayor of DeLand, FL / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® / 
Pat Johnson is shown in a photo from a cruise he took several years ago. It was published repeatedly by the Daytona Beach News-Jounal in stories critical of Johnson during his failed campaign for mayor of DeLand in 2014.
 

DELAND, Fla. -- The way Pat Johnson saw it, the Daytona Beach News-Journal's incessant use of a black and white photo of him in casual dress was indicative of the negative image the print newspaper was creating to protect the interests of the entrenched incumbent, Bob Apgar, in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 26 primary.

"Ask yourself: 'Why that photo?'" Johnson said rhetorically to Headline Surfer®. "I know why they are using it: They want to make me out to be some kind of slick used car salesman. And with 30-something people running in the primary races, they keep coming after me, trying to dig things up because they know my opponent is weak."

Pat Johnson's less-than-flttering photo flap comes in at No. 58 in the HeadlineSurfer.com countdown of the top 100 local stories of 2012. In fact this is just the first of half a dozen stories on Johnson in the countdown, the most by any one individual newsmaker not serving in elected political office.

Johnson said the situation got ramped up a few weeks earlier when he flatly turned down News-Journal Editor Pat Rice's demand that he participate in a debate.

"I refused because it's a set up to benefit Apgar," Johnson said, adding based on previous stories on the campaign, he's been made to look bad.

"Why would I do a debate where Rice makes all the rules, asks all the questions, then decides in a story who won?"

The News-Journal did not respond to the internet newspaper's request for comment on Johnson's claim of bias with the black and white image of Johnson, which he said was taken during a cruise and lifted from his Facebook page, prior to the campaign heating up.

Johnson, in the closing days  prior to his overwhelming loss in the race for mayor in August to incumbent Bob Apgar, finally acknowledged for the first time in an interview with Headline Surfer®, that he had been fired from the DeLand police force as the News-Journal alleged from personnel records provided by the municipality, contrary to previous cliams by Johnson that he left on his own accord.

But Johnson was evasive with the internet newspapr as to whether he actully had a college degree, another allegation leveled by the News-Journal, citing transcripts, as it continued running the black and white photo of Johnson he found so offensive.

Johnson, in the closing days  prior to his overwhelming loss in the race for mayor in August to incumbent Bob Apgar, finally acknowledged for the first time in an interview with Headline Surfer®, that he had been fired from the DeLand police force as the News-Journal alleged from personnel records provided by the municipality, contrary to previous cliams by Johnson that he left on his own accord.

But Johnson was evasive with the internet newspapr as to whether he actully had a college degree, another allegation leveled by the News-Journal, citing transcripts, as it continued running the black and white photo of Johnson he found so offensive.

 
Bob Apgar wins re-election as DeLand mayor over Pat Johgnson by a wide margin in 2014 / Headline Surfer®DeLanf Mayor Bob Apgar (right) & opponent Pat Johnson debate in 2014 / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar (shown at right) and challenger Pat Johnson participate in a DeLand-area Chamber of Commerce debate leading up to the August election, which the invumbent wins by a whopping 72.75percent margin.
 

Whether the black-and-white photo of Johnson had any negative impact is something that cannot be measured. But the results of the Aug. 26 primary show Johnson lost handily to Apgar.

Official voting results from the Volusia County Office of Elections showed Apgar the victor with 3,412 votes to 1,278 for Johnson, or a whopping 72.75 percent edge for the incumbent, by far the largest margin of victory in the entired 2014 election cycle, including the primary and general election.

 

Top 100 Countdown of 2014 / Headline Surfer®RECAP

The HeadlineSurfer.com Countdown of the Top 100 Local Stories of 2014...  

Pat Johnson, 2014 candidate for mayor of DeLand, FL / Headline Surfer®

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Phillip Moore arrested om vandalism charges in 2014 for allegedly whacking an ATM with a hatchet / Headline Surfer®
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Shawn Whitt of Palm Coast sentenced to life in priso in 2014 for raping girl, 11 / Headline Surfer®
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Posted Thu, 2014-12-04 23:09
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.