With just a couple of days to go before all four Republican candidates for the District 12 Congressional seat meet for an Evans debate, two of the candidates already are tangling.
The campaign of Maria Sheffield sent out an announcement Tuesday afternoon, accusing Wright McLeod of “going negative” and “using the Democratic tactic of tracking” after a McLeod staffer videotaped a recent Sheffield speech.
Sheffield spoke June 21 to the Greater Columbia County Republican Women, and accused a McLeod staffer of taping the speech in an “attempt to intimidate and go negative,” the emailed announcement stated.
Noting that McLeod recently acknowledged voting in the Democratic presidential primary in 2008, and donating more than $7,000 to a Democratic candidate in 2010, the email said McLeod’s campaign “is openly using Democratic attack tactics to stalk and try to intimidate his ‘fellow’ Republicans – notably, Maria Sheffield.”
McLeod’s campaign didn’t take the charge seriously.
“Would you like to meet the tracker?” said McLeod staffer Holly Croft, laughing. “It’s me.”
Croft said she’s a member of the Greater Columbia County Republican Women, and admitted taping Sheffield’s recent speech.
“Every single candidate, including folks from Sheffield’s campaign, have taped other folks talking just so you have a record of what they’re saying,” Croft said. “To single our campaign out this to say, ‘Oh, they’re doing this to intimidate me’? No. Not at all.”
Croft added that she personally has never voted on a Democratic ballot. “And I vote every time,” she said.
Sheffield and McLeod, along with fellow Republican candidates Lee Anderson and Rick Allen, are scheduled to debate Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in the Columbia County Library in Evans.