In March, the Imperial County Registrar of Voters reported the results of the primary elections. Perhaps the hottest contested election was the seat for Imperial Irrigation District Division District II, which had four candidates vying for the position. Results indicated JB Hamby received 41.89 percent of the votes, followed by Ryan Childers with 26.41 percent, and Bruce Kuhn with 25.58 percent. Since Hamby did not receive 50 percent of the vote plus one, a run-off would occur in the general election in November between Hamby and Childers.
Hamby posted a video on Facebook titled Our Community Deserves Better, September 18, addressing a previously posted and removed video by IID Director Division II incumbent Bruce Kuhn, who had placed third and was out.
Kuhn’s video took parts from a video project Hamby created for a high school assignment in 2011. In the video, Hamby visits the Brawley Walmart to ask shoppers and employees questions about the government, the United States, math, science, and other topics.
However, in the video, his interviewees gave incorrect answers or no answers at all. Hamby responded by telling the participants they were correct even after their wrong answers. Several comments on the video expressed concerns regarding Hamby’s behavior, saying he was condescending and arrogant.
In Hamby’s response to Kuhn’s publication of the original video from 2011, he explained the purpose of the school project, saying it was an assignment that was supposed to be a political satire and was mirrored after popular segments by comediennes Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel.
According to Hamby, he was attempting to satirize education in the United States.
He stated Kuhn took two minutes from the 12-minute video to show that a certain demographic was targeted. Hamby said a diverse group of people was edited out of the video.
Hamby made three apologies — to individuals in the video who consented to participate in a school project and were later brought into a political battle, to anyone offended by the “doctored attack piece,” and to young individuals running to serve the community.
“When it comes to mudslinging, we’ll leave that to our opponents. We are focused on you, the people we are working to serve,” said Hamby.
Kuhn stated during the September 22 IID Board meeting that he received a call from his friend, Jimmy Abatti, who was dissatisfied by Kuhn’s publication of the 2011 video as he was in support of Hamby. So far, that has been Kuhn’s only response to the publication of the video or Hamby’s response.