A candidate for Metro Council says he’s “disappointed” one of his opponents is urging supporters to consider casting only one vote in the at-large election.
Renard Francois, an attorney running for one of the council’s five at-large seats, issued a press release Tuesday that calls attention to an email authored by Councilman Eric Crafton in which Crafton asks supporters to consider voting only for him to help ensure the election of conservatives.
Term-limited from his Bellevue-area district seat, Crafton is trying to make it as an at-large member. Davidson County residents can vote for as many as five at-large candidates. Election Day is Aug. 4, with early voting beginning July 15.
“Obviously, I would love for you to ‘SINGLE SHOT’ me IF you don’t have another At Large candidate you support,” Crafton’s letter reads. “If you do have another candidate to support, please support all of us. This technique used properly will drastically increase the chances of conservatives being elected to At Large positions.”
In a statement, Francois said he’s “surprised and disappointed” that a sitting councilman would encourage supporters to “manipulate the system.”
“By advocating a "One and Done" method, he is effectively discouraging voters from exercising their full voting rights and supporting candidates who can move our city forward,” Francois said in the statement.
Contacted by The City Paper, Crafton pointed out he has asked for a supporter’s lone vote only if he or she doesn’t have other candidates he or she is backing.
“What I said was if you have no one else you’re in favor of, no one else that you support, and the only person you know or support is me, then just push my button,” Crafton said. “Don’t blindly push the button for four more people you don’t know about.
“Renard Francois, had he taken the time to read the email that I sent out and if he had a better understanding of the way the voting process works in the council race, wouldn’t have weighed in on a non-issue and instead would have talked about some of his policies,” Crafton said.