In the spirit of a Republican primary season marked by gleeful kneecapping, Grant Stinchfield, a former NBC 5 investigative reporter running for Congress, has discovered that his opponent, incumbent Kenny Marchant, claimed some endorsements from politicos who aren't actually behind him in the race for the largely conservative, suburban 24th District straddling Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties.
Chief among those is Congressman Ron Paul, perennial presidential candidate. In an email to Unfair Park from Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton, he confirms that the good doctor has not, in fact, endorsed Marchant for the 2012 election.
"Dr. Paul endorsed Mr. Marchant in the 2010 cycle, but has not endorsed anyone in that race in 2012," he wrote. "We are focused on Dr. Paul's national campaign and are unlikely to get involved in that primary." (We left a message with Marchant's campaign, which didn't respond as of this posting.)
"I think it's awful arrogant of career politicians to expect endorsements when they haven't earned them," Stinchfield says. "Case in point: Dr. Paul. I think (Marchant) just expected his endorsement.
But if Stinchfield thought this was going to be a home-run hit in an anti-incumbent moment, he may have swung a little wide. One of the "false endorsements" he says Marchant claimed is Dianne Edmondson, Denton County GOP chair. Edmondson tells Unfair Park she can't endorse anybody in a contested election, but she does endorse Marchant as the executive director of the National Republican Coalition for Life.
"I explained this to Grant," she said. "I don't know what his problem is. I guess he's looking for a story."
Stinchfield, for his part, says Edmondson never told him this when he approached her about her support as the chairperson.
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Another ill-gotten endorsement Stinchfield points to is from Dallas County GOP chair Wade Emmert. Emmert, on the other hand, sees it differently.
"I was a Cedar Hill councilman at the time, and he has never listed me as anything but," Emmert says. "So I don't see what the problem is. I endorsed him as a city councilman and I did so because he was very responsive to Cedar Hill. I was happy to endorse him. It's entirely accurate.
"I have not gotten involved in this race between Marchant and Stinchfield. Now he's trying to suck in not only me, but Dianne Edmondson? It's unheard of. I guess I'm disappointed his campaign managers chose this path."
There are a few endorsements sent to us by the Stinchfield campaign, some of whom are candidates for national and state office who don't want their names associated with this flurry of electoral mudslinging.