Press Release from Charles Williamson, Candidate for Tennessee House District 51, Oct. 22, 2010:
Charles Williamson Reacts to Negative Strategy by GOP Supporters; Candidate Takes Disappointment over Unauthorized Mailers to the Media
Nashville, TN — Today’s Tennessean carries a story by political reporter, Chas Sisk, regarding Charles Williamson’s disappointment over a direct mail campaign unleashed by the State Republican party. Williamson is the Conservative candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives, District 51.
Williamson, a fiscal and Constitutional Conservative, has been very vocal about running a clean campaign, free of the kind of mudslinging that is so prevalent in modern politics. Earlier in the year, Williamson was quoted in the media as saying additionally, that he would not “toe the party line” and that he is interested in working across party lines to represent his entire district.
Still, an unauthorized string of direct mail pieces targeting Williamson’s opponent, House Democratic Caucus Chair Mike Turner, has been delivered in District 51, an area that includes Lakewood, Old Hickory, Pennington Bend, Neeley’s Bend and parts of Madison, Inglewood, East Nashville and Hermitage. The mailers highlight questionable ethics on the part of House Democrat Caucus Chair Mike Turner and his office; topics which have already been reported in the media.
“I am very disappointed in this tactic,” Williamson, a businessman and rancher, says. “It undermines the integrity of the campaign my team and I have been determined to run. I’ve been a citizen all my life, not a politician, and if I were a regular voter instead of a candidate this year, I would find it hard to believe that the candidate had nothing to do with these mailers, but my team was just as blind-sided as my opponent.”
According to the Tennessean article, the state GOP has acknowledged responsibility and that party officials did not confer with Williamson before sending out the mailers. Further, the party asserts that it will continue with it’s plan, despite a request from the Williamson team to cease.
“I have personally shared my disappointment with my opponent, his team and his wife,” Williamson says “Mike Turner has been in office for a decade and I disagree with him on several key issues. That’s what this process is all about. Still, I respect his years of service. I have run a clean campaign FOR THE PEOPLE and it is supposed to be the people who make the choice, without the influence of outside groups. Negative campaigning is an insult to the intelligence of the voters.”
Williamson add, “I am not a professional politician and I am not going to act like one; not now, not ever. And I am not going to approve mudslinging. Win or lose, all I have is my reputation and I will not sacrifice integrity for any position.”