Apopka mayor's campaign flier puts nuns' nonprofit in jeopardy

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APOPKA, Fla. —

A group of Apopka nuns are speaking out now that their nonprofit organization is in jeopardy because of the Apopka mayoral race.

The city's current mayor, 93-year-old John Land, is preparing for a run-off election on Tuesday. No candidate in the initial election won more than 50 percent of the vote, prompting the run-off. Land's competitor, Joe Kilsheimer, was just 122 votes away from winning.

But now a group of Apopka nuns are getting attention following claims that one of Land's campaign fliers included false claims.

A Spanish campaign flier sent out by Land's campaign said "dreams come true" in Apopka and claims the city helped secure land for the Hope Community Center, an organization run by the nuns.

"The information is not correct in the flier," said Sister Gail Grimes, with the Hope Community Center.

Grimes is troubled by how the flier's message translates in the eyes of the voters. She said the group would never endorse a candidate.

"Nobody asked us if they could put something here," Grimes said.

According to Grimes, the center's nonprofit status is now in jeopardy because it isn't allowed to have any political backing. If it were determined the group helped Land's campaign, their work for the Hispanic community could come to a halt.

"It would fold this whole organization," Grimes said.

Grimes said herself and the other nuns want no part of the mayoral race. Land's campaign office said it will not send out any more of the fliers.

The polls are expected to be packed for Tuesday's run-off election. Officials said already 3,000 absentee ballots have been filed.