This week I am formally launching my campaign for the United States Senate. I am a father, a Veteran Navy pilot, and a proud member of the Florida community who raised me. I am also a husband who just celebrated 35 years of marriage. Yet within days of my announcement, the focus was not on my accomplishments or my background. Unfortunately, in what has become the new normal, the politics of personal destruction have already begun.

Entering this race, I expected challenges, but I never anticipated the swift descent into the politics of personal destruction. It is disheartening that, within weeks of filing my candidacy, my family has become a target. It is also notable that the writer who launched these allegations did not speak to a single member of my family in order to gather facts. While I recognize that political publications may distort the truth about me, it is deeply disappointing when they extend their reach to misrepresent the words and actions of my ex-wife, a woman of accomplishment and strength. I refuse to remain silent while attempts are made to rewrite the story of two divorced parents who, despite challenges, came together to raise two incredible African American men.

It is frustrating to witness the perpetuation of age-old stereotypes against Black men, insinuating that our accomplishments are somehow tainted or that we are prone to violence. This narrative is not new, and it’s disheartening to see that we still grapple with the same prejudices that have plagued our nation for decades. It has been fifteen years since President Obama was labeled as not really American, had his Ivy League achievements scrutinized, and was accused of “pallin’ around with terrorists”. It has been nearly seven decades since the whispers and accusations leveraged against a fourteen-year-old boy in Mississippi led to a mob torturing and lynching him. It is sad for us to still be at this place in our national discourse.

As someone with the highest level of security clearance from the Department of Defense, clearance from the U.S. State Department, the United States Secret Service, and Scotland Yard, I want to reassure you that any credible issues from my past would have been discovered by now. I am proud of my family, our achievements, and the journey from Liberty City, Florida, to serving on missions for international dignitaries and our military. The attempts to overshadow decades of marriage and fifty years of experience are futile. I am the most experienced candidate in this race, a true Floridian, and with the support of millions from all walks of life, we will prevail.

While some focus on tearing others down, my family, my team, and I remain committed to building up our great state and nation. As we face challenges, we will rise above, guided by the principle of “as they go low, we go high.” I look forward to seeing many of you on the campaign trail, where we will continue our work to create a Florida that represents the dreams and aspirations of all its residents. Thank you for your support, and let’s forge ahead together.

Stanley Campbell