VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Captain Jake Hiles has been operating Matador Fishing Charters out of Virginia Beach for the last 20 years. He spends countless hours on the water, talking with his customers and helping them catch fish.
However, over the years those conversations have forced him to make a decision about who he lets on his boat.
“I’ve watched repeatedly as the Democratic Party has tried to regulate my industry out of business and based on some interactions I’ve had with customers this year I decided I didn’t want to have Democrats on my boat anymore,” said Hiles.
Hiles describes himself as a conservative who supports police, the military, believes in God and loves America. He says he gets people on his boat who are Democrats and in a lot of cases they treat him differently because of his views.
“I have to interact with these people; it’s a small area and when I’m on the boat with people for hours with people I don’t know, we talk about two things. Most of the time it’s politics and sports,” Hiles explained.
Hiles says with the country being so polarized right now he doesn’t want to have to suppress his views.
Since he made the “no dems allowed” announcement on his company Facebook page last week, he says he’s received a lot of hate.
“I’ve been threatened, I’ve been called all sorts of vulgar names and this is just because of a disagreement,” he stated.
Hiles says he’s not concerned about the impact this could have on his business. He says he refuses to sell himself out for money.
“I’m true to myself and if that’s the way I have to be, then so be it,” he told WAVY News 10.
Hiles says he will continue to operate this way until things die down politically.
He did add that Democrats can come on his boat — as long as politics aren’t discussed.