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The Villages
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

8. Antics of highly controversial Trump protester grabbed headlines

A highly controversial anti-Trump protester who traveled throughout The Villages with a sign-laden golf cart and made national headlines following a clash with a female resident ranks as the No. 8 story of the year.

Villager Ed McGinty said in January that he wanted other Democrats to know that it was OK to express their anti-Trump political views in the largely conservative mega-retirement community.

Village of Hadley resident Ed McGinty, who supported Joe Biden in the presidential election, first made national headlines in January when he clashed with another resident who was upset because of his attacks on Trump. At the time, McGinty was parked in his golf cart in the grassy area by Odell Circle with signs on his golf cart that read “Trump Is A Sexual Predator,” “Trump Filthy Pig,” “Trump Compulsive Liar,” “Trump Bigot and Racist” and “Hitler And Trump Exactly Same DNA.”

The incident erupted shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 29 when Villager Marsha Hill stopped her golf cart behind McGinty’s cart and started videoing him and his signs while asking questions about his political stance. Seconds later, the discussion heated up and McGinty came out of his golf cart as the two went back and forth.

Villagers Ed McGinty and Marsha Hill collided in January over differing political views.

“He called me a pig!” Hill screamed as two Sumter County sheriff’s deputies arrived to speak with McGinty. “He called me a pig for no reason because I asked him why he thought the president was a sexual predator.”

Hill, of the Village of Amelia, said she was driving home when she spotted McGinty and felt the need to confront him.

“That’s blasphemy,” she said of McGinty’s signs about Trump. “You don’t say that about the president of the United States. This guy should be arrested.”

Villager Ed McGinty shows the threatening note he said he found on his front door in January.

McGinty said he was partially driven to protest that day by a threatening note he found on his door that read: “Be very careful if the well being of your family is of importance.” He said he reported the threat to the sheriff’s office but notes like that wouldn’t keep him from expressing his political views.

“The people that threatened my family, they don’t scare me,” he said. “They just embolden me.”

In February, McGinty was back in the news when he was “trending” on Twitter after the article about his clash with Hill was published on Villages-News.com. The story was picked up by Orlando media and the Tampa Bay Times and then became a hot topic on Twitter, where his admirers called him everything from a “hero” to “one brave dude.”

In March, McGinty was interviewed by a CNN film crew as passing motorists shouted plenty of expletives and a wide-eyed trolley-load of prospective homebuyers took it all in. The crew, including journalist Randi Kaye, came to The Villages to speak with McGinty after Hill posted a video of the infamous argument. Kaye and company traveled with McGinty in his sign-covered golf cart to the intersection of Morse Boulevard and County Road 466 to see him in action.

Villager Ed McGinty speaks with CNN reporter Randi Kaye in March. The Village of Hadley resident was being interviewed for a special on politics in America.
Villager Ed McGinty says he told CNN reporter Randi Kaye that he thoroughly enjoys living in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown and knows there would be political divisiveness wherever he lives.

McGinty said it was somewhat hard to believe that CNN wanted to speak with him, but he said it never would have happened if Hill hadn’t posted the video that ended up being viewed worldwide by millions of people.

“That woman did me a real big favor,” he said. “I never thought about it when she did it.”

In May, McGinty received another threatening letter, this time in his mailbox. It was handwritten and said, “You show your socialistic stupidity you (expletive deleted) loving Democrap! I better not c you showing your childish, ignorant signs again.”

Ed McGinty says he received this letter in the mail at his Village of Hadley home in May. A repulsive word included in the letter has been covered up.

Once again, McGinty said he wouldn’t be deterred from continuing to show his support for Biden – while also sharing his distaste for Trump and everything he stands for.

“That just fires me up,” he said. “I’m a stubborn Irishman and you don’t tell me you’re threatening me. All that does is get my Irish up.”

Villager Ed McGinty speaks with a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy in June after claiming he was attacked in Lake Sumter Landing.

On June 20, McGinty called the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office for help after claiming he was attacked after a Blue Lives Matter parade came to an end in Lake Sumter Landing. He suffered scratches on his neck and his lip was swollen and bloodied.

McGinty said he was driving through the Winn-Dixie parking lot when a man he described as possibly Italian, about 5-foot-11-inches tall and heavy set, jumped out of his golf cart, grabbed him by the throat and pulled him from his golf cart, which was sporting a sign that said, “Biden Will Kick Trump’s Fat Ass.” He said he reacted by punching the man in the nose and several other men jumped in and pulled them apart.

A bloodied Ed McGinty showed his bruised lip and scratched neck in June after he filed a report with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office claiming he was attacked in Lake Sumter Landing.

McGinty said he reported the incident because he was afraid the other man might fabricate a story about what happened. He added that he wasn’t in fear for his safety and didn’t plan to slow down on his protests.

“This is going to rev me up,” he said. “They’re really going to have to kill me to get me to stop.”

A week later, McGinty received another threatening letter, this one unsigned and in his mailbox. The letter said the writer saw that McGinty got his “ass kicked in response to your misguided antics.” The writer said there are other “red neck Trump supporters” who will “chase you down” and “be bringing an ass-kicking with them.

Villager Ed McGinty says he received the letter shown above in June. It was the third threatening letter the anti-Trump activist received and it came just days after he filed a report with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office claiming he was attacked shortly after the Blue Lives Matter golf cart parade in Lake Sumter Landing on June 20.

“I pity your Villages neighbors having to live next to such a deranged waste of protoplasm,” the letter reads. “Hopefully, the next time you have (a) similar encounter, your opponent won’t be so gentle.”

McGinty, the subject of many Letters to the Editor sent to Villages-News.com, said that neither the writer, who he believed was a woman, nor other “Trump apes” would deter him and hundreds of others from displaying their anti-Trump signs and pro-Biden signs on their golf carts. On the day that McGinty claimed to be attacked and filed a report with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the sign on the front of his golf cart read: “Biden Will Kick Trump’s Fat Ass.”

McGinty continued to travel throughout The Villages along with a small contingent of supporters to display his anti-Trump signs right up until the Nov. 3 election. He had vowed that once Biden defeated Trump, he was going to retire from political protests and just enjoying playing golf in The Villages.

Ed McGinty holds a copy of one of the threatening letters he received at his Village of Hadley home.

The multi-modal paths are open to everybody

A Village of Gilchrist woman, in a Letter to the Editor, says the multi-modal paths are to be shared by everyone and are not exclusively for golf carts.

I enjoy riding my bicycle on multi-modal paths in The Villages

A Village of Dunedin resident, who frequently rides a bicycle on the multi-modal paths in The Villages, responds to a Letter to the Editor from a resident of the Village of DeSoto.

Pedestrians are not always treated with respect on multi-modal paths

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Osceola Hills at Soaring Eagle resident says that pedestrians are not always treated with respect on the multi-modal paths.

The rule is that we are supposed to share the paths

A Village of Linden offers some clarification about the intent for the use of the multi-modal paths in The Villages.

Multi-functional paths can accommodate all

A Village of Santo Domingo reader takes issue with a Villager who said that walkers and bicyclists need to get out of the way of golf carts on the multi-modal paths.