A female reporter from Mississippi has accused a Republican gubernatorial candidate of discrimination, after he refused to let her shadow his campaign due to a marital agreement he made with his wife.
Mississippi state Rep. Robert Foster reportedly refused Mississippi Today reporter Larrison Campbell’s request to shadow his campaign, telling her that her close proximity to him may give the wrong impression to his wife and the public, Fox News reports.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Robert Foster denied @thisislarrison, a woman reporter for Mississippi Today, access to a campaign trip ride along. Foster’s campaign director told her she would need to be accompanied by a male colleague. #MSElex https://t.co/XC5p50CDoa
— Mississippi Today (@MSTODAYnews) July 10, 2019
Foster’s campaign director, Colton Robison, told Campbell she could follow the campaign only if she was accompanied by a male chaperone, according to Campbell. (RELATED: CNN Cries Sexism During Discussion On Hillary’s Health)
“Perception is everything,” Foster reportedly said, according to a piece written by Campbell in Mississippi Today.
“We are so close to the primary. If (trackers) were to get a picture and they put a mailer out, we wouldn’t have time to dispute it. And that’s why we have to be careful,” he continued, according to Campbell.
Campbell accused Foster of solely barring her from the role of shadowing him because of her gender.
“The only reason you think that people will think I’m having a (improper) relationship with your candidate is because I am a woman,” she says she told Robison.
Campbell offered to wear her press badge at all times during her coverage to ward off any possibility of suspicion, but the campaign still declined.
“But Robison insisted that trackers are trying to get any footage that would make the candidate look bad,” she continued.
Foster doubled down on his refusal on Twitter, saying, “Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule,’ which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage. I am sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife.”
Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the “Billy Graham Rule”, which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage. I am sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of respect of my wife. https://t.co/5tjH2x2g65
— Robert Foster (@RobertFoster4MS) July 10, 2019
Foster would rather “be called names by the liberal press than to be put in a situation where it could do damage to my marriage or my family,” he said in a radio interview discussing the matter.
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