Two Democratic African-American candidates with experience on the Cocoa City Council are running for the mayor's seat in Cocoa.
The third candidate in the race — who has not held elective office — is Larry Sinclair, who has a long rap sheet and a history of circulating a widely ridiculed story of a drug-fueled gay encounter with Barack Obama in 1999.
The interesting mix is in part the result of the Cocoa mayor contest being nonpartisan and requiring no primary. So the controversies got lost in the shuffle of the first round of voting.
But it is the potential success of Sinclair that has raised many eyebrows in the municipality, but, so far, grabbed few headlines.
Whoever wins Tuesday's election will replace Mayor Henry Parrish III, who stepped down from his post midway through his four-year term to run for Florida House. Parrish lost the Republican primary for the District 51 seat to Tyler Sirois. Parrish's successor will serve the remainder of his term as mayor.
Sinclair, a Camden, South Carolina, native, has admitted to a background that includes multiple convictions, including for forgery, fraud and larceny. He and his life of crime came to national prominence at a National Press Club news conference in 2008, when Sinclair alleged that Obama, when he was an Illinois state senator, smoked crack cocaine and engaged in gay sex with him on two occasions in 1999.
The allegations, which were never proven, were repeated by Sinclair in a self-published book in 2009, "Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder?" The killing in the title refers to Sinclair's other allegations that Obama had taken a male lover and was connected with his later murder.
Although the allegations were laughed at by many, they became fodder for conspiracy theories about Obama.