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Election eve campaign conflicts emerge

It’s almost guaranteed — nearly every football game features at least one angry coach yelling about a referee’s call.  In scenes not far removed, the week before election day always seems to bring a spate of campaign dramas.

This year, its campaign literature that’s fueling the anger.  In Prince William County, an incumbent delegate was dismayed to read fliers sent out by his opponent telling voters the incumbent had once been charged with assaulting an officer.  A judge had dismissed the charges and the record was officially expunged.

Because the state code generally bars disclosure of expunged criminal records, the incumbent took to running TV ads suggesting the challenger is the real law breaker.

In the Shenandoah Valley, another incumbent delegate got the drop on his challenger by getting hold of some literature before it was mailed and posting a preemptive strike on a Facebook page.  Of, course, the challenger cried foul.

In Blacksburg, a minor stir arose when fliers were sent out with a list of supporters of four candidates running for the town council.  It turned out not all of the listed citizens were crazy about all four candidates.  On election eve, The Roanoke Times reported, one candidate stopped forward to take the blame for the snafu and try to smooth ruffled feathers.

With an election every year, campaign follies are an annual diversion in the Old Dominion.  See you next fall.

By Peter Vieth

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