The race to represent the 45th district in City Council is turning ugly, with both sides accusing the other of harassment and dirty election tactics.
Farah Louis, the incumbent, and her staff say they have been subject to multiple incidents of harassment from her opponent Anthony Beckford and his staff.
A source in the Louis campaign says that the attacks feel personal and have gone on for a while. The same source said the attacks have escalated recently.
“It’s just been tough to deal with,” said the source. “I don’t see anything political about it. I really see it as a personal thing.”
Another source in the Louis campaign corroborates the harassment.
“Beckford has pushed false narratives, antagonized the staff and Louis’ mother and sister,” said the source.
One instance occurred at a community event where the Louis campaign was handing out free food. Both sources say the Beckford campaign has repeatedly taken boxes of free food and changing the campaign literature to make it seem as though the Beckford campaign was handing it out.
Another instance includes a Beckford staff member recording a Louis staff member and was invading her personal space as she was distributing free food to community members. The Beckford campaign then went to Facebook and turned the Louis staff member into a gif and called her a “political Karen.”
Beckford denies the accusations and instead says that the Louis campaign has been the one resorting to harassment.
Beckford says the police were called during the recording incident but nothing came of it because they were recording the area for campaign purposes. He also denies his staff taking any of the food and changing the campaign literature, stating that he has done plenty of his own food distribution events.
“Every single incident stated is false. They’re getting very desperate and trying to gain votes by making false stories,” said Beckford.
Beckford said Louis’ mother had banged on his campaign office door and berated him in front of his nine-year-old daughter. He says her mother also ripped down some of his campaign signs across the street from his campaign office. He documented the incident on his Twitter.
Beckford also says Louis’ sister verbally attacked his campaign manager and even lunged at her.
He also says her campaign has been behind the false complaints from the Campaign Finance Board (CFB). Beckford is adamant that the accusations against him and his staff are completely unfounded.
There are a lot of accusations being thrown both ways a month before the primaries on June 22nd. These candidates faced off before in 2019 and now this race has become an exchange of accusations.