Character assassination is part and parcel of American politics. Candidates for office routinely face accusations that they’re dishonest, self-serving, greedy or racist.
In North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District race, television ads have portrayed Republican Sandy Smith as being psychologically unhinged, with allegations of her being an abusive mother, a spouse abuser and a violent neo-fascist.
If the frequently aired ads have negatively affected Smith’s campaign, there was no evidence of it on Thursday night as she was enthusiastically received by supporters during the grand opening of the Nash County Republican Party headquarters in the Westridge Shopping Center.
Smith’s opponent in the election is state Sen. Don Davis, D-Greene.
The race in the 1st District is seen as critical by both Republicans and Democrats as U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-1st District, is not seeking re-election after 18 years in office. Butterfield defeated Smith by winning 54 percent of the vote in 2020.
With the advantage of Butterfield’s incumbency absent, the door could be open for Smith to win the seat and help Republicans retake the majority in the U.S. House.
Before she addressed the gathering Thursday night, Smith spoke with the media, which included four Japanese reporters covering the race for Japanese media outlets.
Smith said that she would be victorious in this election, noting that she swung the district by 25 points in her party’s favor in 2020.
“We knew in 2022 that I could finish the job,” she said. “We feel very confident.”
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Smith on Sept. 23 during a rally in Wilmington.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “It was surreal. I’m humbled to have his endorsement.”
Smith said the reason Democrats have attacked her so vehemently is because her opponent has no platform on which to campaign.
“They’re not running on any issues. They have no solutions. They’ve spent $1.7 million (on advertising). You can attack me all day long with these fake lies. Court records show they’re fake. The information they are putting out there is incomplete. They know they are lies,” Smith said.
One of the television ads claims Smith beat her daughter and quotes statements the daughter made 10 years ago in a complaint against Smith.
“It’s absolutely disgusting that my radical-left do-nothing opponent and the Pelosi-run DCCC are so desperate to peddle fake misinformation of abuse from over a decade ago knowing it is totally false just so they can try and hurt me and my family. What the desperate liars won’t tell you is this legal document was filed under duress using false information and was dismissed five days later by the judge at the request of my daughter. My daughter and I have a strong relationship and talk or see each other almost every day. I’m so proud to be her mom and protecting her is still my top priority,” Smith states on her campaign website.