Washington County mayor’s race turns ugly in first week

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Just days after the first candidate announced plans to run for county mayor in Washington County, TN, the race is already turning ugly.

County Commissioner Joe Grandy says his wife, friends and public officials received a letter in the mail earlier this week claiming to be from him, including his home address handwritten on the outside of the envelope and painting him in a not so flattering light.

“I was really disappointed to be honest with you,” the candidate for county mayor said. “It was just a level of intimidation. I’ve grown up in the construction industry. I’ve got tough skin. You’re not going to bother me, but when you start picking on the people around me, that’s when it starts bothering me.”

Grandy believes the person or people responsible for penning the letter in his name are not only cowards, but likely broke federal law too. He said he filed a complaint with the United States Postal Service as a result.

“If these people are located, if we can determine who they are, I assume they’ll be processed criminally,” Grandy said. “If someone is really interested in going to federal prison for something like this, then have at it.”

A USPS spokesperson confirmed the agency is looking into the complaint.

“The Postal Service is aware of a complaint regarding several letters sent to Washington County residents and is reviewing the situation,” Susan Wright said.

Grandy says he can’t help but wonder how much worse the mayor’s race will get if three months before the filing deadline and six months before the actual election this is how it’s starting.

“It’s a shame. Washington County deserves better than this,” he said. “If that’s the way it’s going to be, we’re just going to buck up and go a lot harder.”

Other than Grandy, the Washington County Election Commission reports no other candidates for county mayor have picked up papers to run so far. Current Mayor Dan Eldridge is not seeking re-election.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.

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