For the most part the Coffee County political races have been pretty calm until now. It’s not one of county seats up for grabs, it’s a county commission race.
In Tullahoma’s District 15, things have become heated between incumbent Mark Kelly a Republican and Christian and Democratic primary winner, Zak Mohyuddin a Muslim.
In a letter to WMSR News Mohyuddin says that Kelly made a set of serious allegations against his patriotism and loyalty. Mohyuddin says he never used the words or anything similar alleged in a letter Kelly sent to voters. Mohyuddin added he never made the comments in public or in private. In the letter dated July 16, Kelly claims Mohyuddin “expressed his beliefs publicly,” that “the American flag should be removed from public buildings because it is a symbol tyranny and oppression; that public prayer should be banned because it insults non-Christians; and that the Bible should be removed from public places.”
Mohyuddin claims that he has never made such statements to anyone, and that Kelly is simply making the whole thing up.
“To me, flags and bibles are objects of respect, regardless of what country or religion they belong to, and I’ve always treated them with respect,” Mohyuddin said. “This man is saying things about me that don’t reflect my values in any way.”
Kelly told WMSR News that nothing he has done is against the 1st amendment. He said that he and his opponent have different principles that they disagree on. He added that this is not about religion just a difference in beliefs.
Kelly says that during this campaign he has been attacked as well. He said people have accused him of wanting to close the libraries and that is not true.
Mohyuddin says that he has not had any private conversations with Kelly for roughly 25 years.
Kelly, on the other hand says that he and Mohyuddin have had several private conversations over the years, on the AEDC walking trail, among other places.
Remember early voting is going on now through August 2 and Election Day is August 7. So far over 1,500 people have voted early in Coffee County.