An email from a paid supporter of Democratic mayoral candidate David Howard prompted a sharp rebuke Wednesday from the manager of rival Jennifer Roberts’ campaign.
Jacob Becklund responded to the email from Howard supporter Colette Forrest, who criticized Roberts and two other Democratic candidates.
“The attacks were out of bounds, totally false, and personal,” Becklund said. “(The email) even went so far as to attack Jennifer for where her children go to school.”
Becklund’s comments came in a fundraising message in which he asked supporters for money “if you think ugly, personal attacks have no place in Charlotte politics.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Sunday, in an email that contained Howard’s campaign logo, Forrest repeated claims she’d made in public forums: that Roberts “quit” the board of county commissioners and sends her son to private school. It also suggested Roberts was not a classroom teacher as she claims. Forrest also criticized candidates Michael Barnes and Dan Clodfelter.
Roberts, a former commissioner, chose not to run again in 2012 and instead ran for Congress. Her son attends Providence Day. And she taught high school for two years in the early 1980s.
Forrest, an outspoken community activist, said she’s continuing to send the email to the 70,000 Democratic and unaffiliated voters on her list. On Saturday she sent a separate email labeled as a “media release” with Howard’s picture and the name and phone number of his campaign manager.
Forrest’s company, People’s Voice Management, has been paid $1,200 by the Howard campaign, according a report filed Tuesday. She and Howard both say that was for her “outreach to barbershops and beauty salons,” not to criticize the other candidates.
“Everything in that write-up was her opinion,” Howard said. “Colette is a force of her own. She speaks her own mind but she is not a spokesperson.”
Becklund, Roberts’ manager, said Forest didn’t share opinions about Roberts’ background but rather made misstatements. “They’re flat wrong,” he said.
Howard described Saturday’s email as a “cut and paste thing” for which she was not paid. Forrest said she did it on her own. She sought to draw a distinction between that and work she was paid to do with the barber shops.
“I am my own independently thinking individual that’s pretty passionate about a couple causes,” she said. “Everything black and African-American candidates that will authentically represent the best interests of African-Americans here in Charlotte.”
Becklund’s email went out during a morning candidate debate where the subject of the emails did not come up.