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Cincinnati City Council candidate apologizes for fake Democratic slate card; party plans formal complaint – WXIX

CINCINNATI (Enquirer) – Cincinnati City Council candidate Brian Garry wasn’t endorsed by the Cincinnati Democratic Committee.
But his campaign – unbeknownst to him, he says – drew up a fake Democratic party slate card with Garry’s name on it and passed them out on election day, according to our media partners at the Enquirer.
>> City Council candidate accused of faking endorsement fights back in whirlwind presser
A slate card lists candidates endorsed by a particular group; the Democrats have an official slate of Cincinnati City Council candidates, but Garry was not one of those endorsed.
Brian Garry addressed the accusations at the Hamilton County Board of Elections Tuesday evening. The story continues below the Facebook Live video.
HAPPENING NOW: Cincinnati City Council candidate Brian Garry is addressing accusations he lied about a Democratic Party endorsement on a card distributed at poll locations on election day >> https://bit.ly/3GMBv32
The Democratic endorsement is considered the Holy Grail of endorsements for Cincinnati politics, particularly as the city has trended more Democratic.
In 2017, six of the party’s nine endorsed candidates won election and it raised the profile of the three who didn’t win.
Democrats – on the real slate and off – were mad and began calling Garry out on Twitter. That prompted Garry, a longtime political activist and Democrat, to post an apology on Twitter and promise to stop distributing them. The polls had been open eight and half hours at that point and it is unclear how many had been passed out.
“On behalf of my campaign, I would like to apologize,” Garry wrote on Twitter. “Our marketing director released this unapproved and against the wishes of our campaign. We have since stopped hanging it out and sincerely apologize for any confusion. We did not mean to contribute to any voter misinformation.”
The fake slate card included only four of the actual endorsed candidates.
It was written on blue printer paper, headlined with the words “Hamilton County Democratic Slate” and said: “Vote for the full Democratic Slate!”
Democratic Party Chairwoman Gwen McFarlin told The Enquirer: “It’s a cheap trick.”
“This piece was paid for by Brian Garry, who clearly doesn’t believe he can be successful on his own accord,” McFarlin said in a statement released to the media. “We know voters are smarter than this, and we hope they will see through this attempt by Mr. Garry to misguide the voters.”
On behalf of my campaign, I would like to apologize. Our marketing director released this unapproved and against the wishes of our campaign. We have since stopped handing it out and sincerely apologize for any confusion. We did NOT mean to contribute to any voter misinformation.
Garry told The Enquirer he personally did not put it out.
The Hamilton County Democratic Party accused Garry of lying, in a tweet of its own.
It said: “This is a lie. We have heard from several volunteers and voters at several polling locations who personally saw you hand out this slate, and offer to pay others to hand it out. It’s a shame that you run on integrity and have lied to voters. We plan to file a formal complaint.”
Statement from HCDP Chairwoman Gwen McFarlin on todays fake slate cards: pic.twitter.com/jeHO1UgMx9
Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou, a member of the county Board of Elections, said making a fake sample ballot can be a violation of law. “It’s serious business to lie to voters about a party endorsement. And it should be dealt with seriously,” he said.
The process to file a complaint starts at the Ohio Election Commission. If the commission finds probable cause that a crime has been committed it then makes a referral for criminal charges to the local prosecutor’s office.
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