To all the folks that have sent me emails of support in the face of a dramatic surge in negative, personal attacks, I thank you.

It has been a strange election season.

I didn’t expect the Sierra Club or the IndyWeek to endorse me, for political or personal reasons. But I never expected the Indy to create a “red herring” or the Sierra Club to get my record – which was to support 5 of their environmental causes that the incumbents shot down – and my name wrong.

I knew that two local incumbents would go negative when one of their common advisors tipped his hand months before I even signed up – bullying me about how I planned to run – but I never expected the virulence or disingenuous of the latest attacks. Youch!

Again, thanks folks for trying to stem the tide.

Part of this negativity, I’ve come to believe, goes beyond mean-spirited politics to political strategy. There must be a fear that votes for Raymond will lead to the election of Penny Rich – at least that appears to be part of the calculus.

Maybe they’re right – maybe you should vote for me AND Penny if you want Penny ;-).

I hope the voters realize that the challengers – Penny, Matt and I – are the only candidates this year that engaged in substantive discussions of the issues before our Town.

I hope the voters recognize I’ve been trying to take the opportunity of this election to engage and educate the wider public on key problems facing our community.

And I hope they understand that personal attacks, character assassination, trying to diminish a candidates public service, is not just a sign of desperation but also an indicator of the sponsoring person’s fitness to lead.

That said, I’m at a bit of loss at what to do. I’m going to stick with my original plan, which was focus on the issues before us, to work to promote positive strategies to improve our community and to ignore issues lacking substance.

What about the arrows sticking in my back?

I’m a big guy, passionate about my causes, have tried to do what’s best by the community – and that helps take the sting out but I am saddened that instead of engaging in an open discussion of policy a few of the incumbent candidates feel going negative is their best strategy.

What a wasted opportunity! For now, I forge on with my portfolio of issues and solutions – campaigning straight through until 7:30pm tomorrow.

The citizens of Chapel Hill deserve no less.

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