A disturbing political attack narrative is being floated around within certain Palm Beach political circles about double-amputee combat veteran and congressional candidate, Brian Mast.Mast is being accused by a few of only running for the U.S. Congress because he had lost both of his legs in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan.
Mast served 12 years in the U.S. Army, where he retired as a special operations bomb technician after returning from oversees deployment, and having recovered from his injuries.
Here is what we reported:
On a disturbing note, several Palm Beach residents, who has asked that we not use their names in this story, are saying that one of Mast’s congressional opponents and his or hers financial backers, are pushing the narrative that “he is only running on his legs,” and that the reason why Mast wears shorts is to exploit his prosthetic legs.
On a live media call with reporters last week, Mast, and his guest on the call, Rep. Steve Russell (R-Ok), who has endorsed him, both were asked to comment on the political attack.
This is politics. It’s a full contact sport as they say, so people are going to say whatever they want. I don’t mind telling anyone, two prosthetic legs hopefully not one day ever define me. Prosthetic legs don’t define me. I think they are an example of what my commitment to America, and I’d like to think that commitment to America is what defines me as person.-Brian Mast
Rep. Russell was in disbelief that such an accusation could even be made against anyone who has sacrificed so much for his or her country.
I can’t even fathom the mentally that would suggest that we put ourselves in harm’s way, that we would sacrifice, watch the loss of our friends, endure horrific episodes of our lives
Its absurd, it’s just absolutely absurd. I don’t know how to respond to that kind of thinking.-Rep. Steve Russell
We have now learned that the source of this line of attack against Mast is coming from the Rick Kozell congressional campaign.According to one prominent elected official in Palm Beach County, Florida, whose name we will keep out of this story, Kozell stated that Brian Mast only wears shorts so that he can expose his prosthetic legs, in order to receive sympathy for the injuries he sustained.
Several of Kozell’s close campaign financial backers have also been telling anyone who will listen that Mast was “only running on his legs,” and that he was not ready to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Kozell could not be reached for comment, and has not yet replied to a request for a comment regarding the accusations made against him and his campaign.