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Congressional candidate launches campaign with a gaffe

by Jordan Green

A neophyte Democrat has announced his intentions to challenge popular 11-term Republican Howard Coble for North Carolina’s 6th district House of Representatives seat in 2006.

David Crawford, a 40-year-old computer salesman, said he ran for Winston-Salem City Council this year but was disqualified when he recently moved to Greensboro.

‘“The main reason I’m running is more against Bush than Coble,’” Crawford said in a phone interview to which he submitted on Nov. 11 while preparing for a night of clubbing. ‘“I think we went and invaded Iraq under lies. We need our troops back. With the floodwaters [in New Orleans] we couldn’t do anything because we didn’t have any of our troops here.’”

The 74-year-old Coble, who voted to authorize the president to make war against Iraq, subsequently criticized the Bush administration’s lack of post-invasion planning and, in January, called for a withdrawal of US troops.

Crawford said he switched his registration from Republican to Democrat even though he considers himself a fiscal conservative and advocates cutting taxes.

‘“They were anti-gay and I had a lot of issues with that because that didn’t go along with some friends of mine,’” he said.

In a written campaign platform, Crawford says the 6th district’s next representative needs to be a strong supporter of private property rights given the Supreme Court’s recent decision validating government seizure of homes for economic development purposes.

In a Nov. 11 e-mail he added that he would vote for the so-called fair tax advocated by talk radio host Neil Boortz and proposed by Rep. John Linder, the Georgia Republican. Other of Crawford’s positions appear to skew more to the liberal side of the ideological ledger, such as his support for developing alternative energy sources and support for raising the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $9 per hour.

Crawford’s candidacy first came to the attention of the YES! Weekly staff when a message was received in his name by the newspaper requesting information about how to contact a 20-year-old female model dressed in a Little Bo-Peep costume and featured on the cover of the Oct. 26 edition.

The e-mail included a photograph of the model with the message: ‘“Who is this female? Dose she have a E-mail? She looks grate! I would love to fine her. Well I am single and in the run for the 6 us Congress in 2006 in like 20 days or so.’”

The message continues: ‘“Well Due to I am single I would like to fine a nice woman I can keep by my side for photos and date & etc. Now I would like to fine her! No joke! Info please!’”

The message was received at 5:01 a.m. on Nov. 4, a Friday morning. Signed ‘“David Crawford ‘– Crawford for 6th US Congress, Greensboro, NC,’” the message was sent from the e-mail address ‘“david@crawford.org.’” David Crawford the congressional candidate responded to a query to the same address by sending the text of his campaign platform.

A week later Crawford said he didn’t recall sending the message. He said he did remember admiring the ‘“Little Bo-Peep’” model and telling his friends how he would like to meet her. One of those friends, Kelly, might have been responsible for the e-mail message, he said.

‘“They want me to settle down and quit running around,’” he said. ‘“I am totally single and have no kids.’”

Asked if he was worried the e-mail message might pose a liability for his campaign, he replied: ‘“I might have to yell at [Kelly].’” He added: ‘“We go all over the place. We go to the Tiki Club, the country bar, the strip club. We hit all the clubs on Friday and Saturday nights.’”

But getting back to politics’…

In a follow-up e-mail on Nov. 11, Crawford the candidate wrote: ‘“Howard Coble is my grandmothers age! To start I will pushing the non-gas bills! Its time we get off the gas and oil fules! Also the fair tax bill I like!’”

Crawford said he plans to file for the Democratic primary as soon as he has the opportunity in January 2006.

In the 2004 election Coble commanded 73 percent of the vote against the Democratic candidate, William W. Jordan. In the two previous elections Democrats didn’t even bother to file for the primary. Coble took 90 percent of the vote against challenger Tara Sue Grubb in 2002 and 91 percent of the vote against Jeffrey Dean Bentley in 2000 ‘— both Libertarian candidates.

No word on whether Coble is sweating this one.

To comment on this story, e-mail Jordan Green at jordan@yesweekly.com

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