Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – In response to an explosion of controversy that was ignited by an attack mailer and sign that showed up in the Chapin area late last week, a roaring protest could be heard from both Democrats and Republicans alike. Each group cried foul as a mysterious, if not non-existent group, called the “Democrats for Charli” spread an implied message that Ms. Charli Wessinger, a Republican candidate for Lexington County Council Seat 6, was a liberal with a Democratic agenda.They sent the mailer using the return address of a local supermarket, no indication of approval from Johnny Jeffcoat, Wessinger’s opponent in the race, and no information as to who mailed it. The dark group even used stamps to cover the tracks that a postage permit would leave.
The immediate outrage was focused on Johnny Jeffcoat who is a seasoned office holder who is also running for that seat. He held it for many years before stepping down while his wife was seriously ill. Because of the placement of the sign on the land held by a close friend of Jeffcoat's and the message it contained, people immediately jumped to the conclusion that he, Jeffcoat was behind the anonymous sign and mailer. This is a logical jump unless you look deep into the dark underbelly of politics. Then, anyone's guess is as good as another if you were to investigate the covert act.
Obviously, Jeffcoat denies he had anything to do with the sign or the illegal mailer and most who know him say he would never attack his opponent or mislead the public in this way. One close friend said, “Johnny has a long history of service and that comes with an education in politics. Attacking other candidates and especially a nice woman like Ms. Wessinger would certainly serve no gain for Johnny! He would know full well form the start that the fallout from this type of stunt would coat him in mud, not Ms. Wessinger. It would have been a foolish and an amateur’s mistake. That is not Johnny Jeffcoat!” So far, that’s exactly what’s happened. Jeffcoat has caught the full force of the people’s fury.
In response to this controversy, Jeffcoat distributed a release to the media Monday that ask that voters get past all this noise and vote the issues. In that statement Jeffcoat said, “I encourage fellow Republicans to make an informed choice in tomorrow’s County Council primary. Our campaign has remained positive and issues-focused despite the multiple attack mailers, newspaper hit jobs, and internet smears targeting me.”
He went on to say, “I have no knowledge of a ridiculous mailer that went out last week, but our opponent’s radical, anti-economic development message appears to have drawn support from questionable sources and created division within our community.”
My pledge is to make you proud on Lexington County Council and focus on the issues that matter. I have a proven record of getting things done and working well with others.
Jeffcoat pointed out that if he’s elected, there will be no “on the job” training. He said, “Lexington County needs a vision for its future. I am proud of the gains we made as a county during my previous service on council, including recruiting over 10,000 jobs, and am running once again to make Lexington County an even greater place to live, work, and raise a family.”
As of Monday morning, no individual or group has openly stepped forward identify themselves as the perpetrator of this act or to take credit for the mailer and sign.