A Florida Republican who is looking to challenge the Trump-endorsed Rep. Vern Buchanan in next year’s primary is locked in a bitter battle with his homeowners' association over a "LETS GO BRANDON" Christmas lights display on his balcony.

Martin Hyde is remaining defiant after receiving a "friendly reminder" from his HOA that signs aren’t allowed in his Sarasota neighborhood, and that he faces a $150 fine for everyday he keeps up the display, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday. 


"Lets Go Brandon" sign

A NASCAR fan holds a "Lets Go Brandon" sign during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy's Frozen Custard 335 at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The phrase "Let's go, Brandon" became an internet sensation earlier in the year after an NBC reporter at a NASCAR Xfinity Series race incorrectly reported that fans in the stands were chanting "Let’s Go Brandon" following a victory by driver Brandon Brown, when they were really shouting, "F--- Joe Biden!"

"Did I know it was provocative? Absolutely," Hyde told the Herald-Tribune. "Did I expect it to take on this level? No."

"It’s fully in keeping with my personality and my campaign," he said. "Anybody who doesn’t like it, it’s one street... don’t come." 

Hyde said his response to the HOA's threat is to throw a party outside his house Wednesday night with food, music, and the unveiling of an even bigger display. He’s promoting the event on Facebook as a "LGB community party and ‘Non-woke’ Christmas lights unveiling."

"When you poke the bear, there are outcomes and circumstances," he told the newspaper.

Hyde said he made the display himself and denies that it is a sign at all, saying he’s being targeted because of his politics. The HOA, however, said the dispute has "nothing to do with politics."

"This is a simple contract issue," Homes of Laurel Park Homeowner's Association president John Habbert told the Herald-Tribune.

"When he purchased his house, Mr. Hyde signed documents stating that he would abide by all HOA rules – including no signs other than house numbers or For Sale notices," he said. "Other residents have been asked to remove signs and have complied without any problems, but Mr. Hyde refuses to do so."

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., is joined by fellow Republican members of the House while talking to reporters outside the White House West Wing March 26, 2019 in Washington, D.C.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hyde said he has no plans to comply until the holiday season is over.


"They may well fine me $150 a day. It’s not really a terrible concern to me," he said. "I will take it down when the holidays are over. I’ll take it down when it suits me."

Hyde, a supporter of former President Trump, is looking to unseat Buchanan in the 2022 Republican congressional primary. Trump endorsed Buchanan for reelection on Monday, calling him "a terrific representative of the people of Florida."