In the not-so-friendly race for the Metro Council’s 25th District seat, Democratic challenger David Yates slammed robocalls that he claims Republican incumbent Doug Hawkins is sending out to voters across south Louisville.
“There are several different messages going out. Everything from I’m a liberal who supports ‘militant lesbians’ to attacking my faith,” says Yates. “I think most people are hanging up on it and by now voters have caught on to the lies.”
The Yates campaign has not produced a recording of the alleged phone messages, however. During a press conference, a Yates campaign spokesman said supporters have called to complain about the robocalls, which they believe is in response to their mailer delivered to voters, which throws several jabs of its own.
The attack ad refers to Hawkins as unethical, ineffective, un-American, an extremist and a politician who wastes taxpayer money. The Democratic challenger defends the piece, saying that he’s going after the issues in the mailer by highlighting Hawkins’ record on the council.
Asked if he has sent out any recordings to voters via telephone against Yates or any other attacks, Hawkins told LEO Weekly he has used robocalls to reach out to voters, but denies the allegations.
“I’ve never mentioned his name at all. He’s down in the polls and he’s desperate,” says Hawkins. “Why would I want to send out 10,000 phone calls saying his name given that he’s relatively unknown in the district? I’ve never used the term ‘militant lesbians’ so I don’t even know where he got that from. Yates’ whole campaign has been to throw mud against the wall and hope something sticks. It is just so negative and hateful that I haven’t addressed it.”
Since city and county governments merged in 2003, no elected member of the council has been unseated by voters, but Yates’ candidacy has caught the attention of observers as a potential upset. Earlier this week, for instance, LEO found that state election finance records show Yates outpacing Hawkins in fundraising by an almost 4-to-1 margin.