Now that Jason Sager, the Republican candidate for county commission District 3, has acknowledged an affair with his media liaison, how much will this hurt him at the polls?
"It just depends on the person, the place, the instances, the salacious details," said Eric Wolters, assistant professor in history and political science at Pasco-Hernando Community College. "Every one of these scandals is unique."
But ultimately, if past scandals are an indication, it can't do him much good, Wolters said.
Sager, 38, acknowledged his affair with Danielle Alexandre began in March and ended in June. Alexandre became Sager's media liaison in January. Danielle Alexandre has since gotten divorced.
Sager, in an email to Hernando Today, declined to discuss the matter further.
"Right now is obviously a difficult time for my family and I am attending to their needs," Sager said.
Blaise Ingoglia, chairman of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, told Hernando Today the executive board will be meeting to discuss the issue.
Beyond that, Ingoglia declined to comment. Sager's opposition in the general election are Democrat Diane Rowden, NPA candidate Greg Sheldon and Tanya Marsh, who is a write in.
Wolters said sex scandals are all different and it is difficult so say how much this one will affect Sager.
A younger electorate tends to be less condemning of sex scandals, Wolters said.
It also depends, he said, on how the candidate has handled himself and conveyed his message in the months leading up to the scandal.
"If the candidate is exceptionally effective in really bringing home the bacon, then I can see an electorate being more forgiving," Wolters said.
For example, people seemed to be more forgiving of former President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern.
But that may have had much to do with his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was forgiving of her husband and stood by him, Wolters said.
People are generally less forgiving if a candidate tries to cover up the affair. To some degree, the blow is softened, he said, if the person owns up to the affair before it erupts in the media.
Generally, the more damning elements involved in the matter, the worse it is for the candidate, Wolters said.
Sex videos and explicit letters are typically frowned on by voters, he said. In Sager's case, there is a video of him and Alexandre in the latter's bedroom.
Ultimately, a sex scandal may help tip a voter who had been vacillating between candidates, Wolters said.
Last year, Sager filed paperwork to challenge incumbent Republican John Druzbick for the District 3 county commission seat.
In the August primary, both men tied for the vote. A recount put Sager over the top by just eight votes.
Druzbick said he only knows of Alexandre from when she filed a formal complaint against him with the state ethics commission for failing to list a prior piece of property as an asset on a disclosure form he signed when he ran for office in 2008.
Druzbick said the revelation of an affair obviously brings a new aspect to the campaign.
"It is a personal concern that Mr. Sager has and he just really needs to work with his family and put it back together," Druzbick said.
In several interviews with Hernando Today, Sager has expounded on the importance of family values and integrity and how important those attributes are for public office.
In 2005, Sager and his wife were expecting their first child and returned to Florida to be near family.
Soon after, he became active in the Tampa Bay Young Republican Club and the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee.
Hernando Today learned this week that Sager was one of only two candidates running for office this year who filed an affidavit of undue burden with the supervisor of elections office, which exempted him from paying the $128.20 required for staff to verify the petitions he gathered when he qualified.
The other candidate was U.S. Congressional candidate David Werder, according to the elections office.
In 2010, Sager ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress. He was defeated by Republican and former county sheriff Richard Nugent.
Sager was criticized for his post Sept. 11 role in the Protest Warrior activist group in New York City. A picture of Sager dressed as revolutionary Che Guevara raised eyebrows and was believed to turn off some supporters and even some heavy-hitters in his own Republican party.
Sager said the move was meant to satirize liberal groups.
Sager said he remains open about that time of his life. In fact, it occupies a piece of the book he said he is writing, he told Hernando Today.
"I don't run away from it," Sager said at the time. "The entire situation was taken completely out of context, unfortunately, during a previous election campaign."