Three months after Scottie Mayfield said his 33-year-old son’s tire-slashing incident “has no place in campaigns,” Chris Carroll reports finding an audio wherein the dairy executive says, “I’m not ashamed of why he did it.”
The remark conflicts with a public apology Mayfield issued April 26 after his son, Michael Mayfield, confessed to slashing a tire belonging to an aide of U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
In a written statement released the day the Kingston (Tenn.) Police Department charged his son with vandalism under $500, Mayfield apologized, called the slashing regrettable and said, “This kind of activity has no place in campaigns.”
But at a Nightside Pachyderm Club meeting in June, he had a little more to say.
“Lord have mercy,” Mayfield said, according to an audio recording obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “Who would have thought your son would have the passion that he had to lose his head after watching those guys follow us around for two days?
“I’ll tell you this,” he added. “I don’t like at all what my son did, and I’m ashamed of it. But I’m not ashamed of why he did it.”
A top Kingston, Tenn., police official denied giving “special treatment” to Michael Mayfield after admitting he changed Mayfield’s initial court date from May to Aug. 27 — three weeks after an election that Mayfield’s father must win to reach Congress.
More from Chris Carroll:
“There’s no special treatment at all,” Kingston Assistant Police Chief Gary Nelson said. “It had nothing to do with the election coming up. It was totally my choice to pick that date.”
The court date for Mayfield is scheduled 25 days after the Aug. 2 Republican primary election in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District. That’s a crucial test for the political future of his father, Scottie Mayfield, who’s running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
On April 26, Michael Mayfield, 33, was charged with vandalism under $500 after he confessed to slashing a Fleischmann aide’s tire. The incident took place April 24 at a campaign event for his father at the Roane County Courthouse. In a public apology, Scottie Mayfield said he asked authorities to treat his son “like anyone else.”
A Chattanooga Times Free Press review of the 70 initial appearances in Roane County General Sessions Court for people arrested or cited between April 23-30 shows that the court date for the younger Mayfield is the last one. Two other dates are set for August, but the remaining 67 — some of which were assigned after Mayfield was charged — are scheduled for April, May, June and July.
He’s not debating, speaking or even appearing in public anytime soon, but Scottie Mayfield’s congressional campaign rejected rumors of its own demise five days after police said the dairy executive’s 33-year-old son slashed a rival aide’s tire at a campaign event.
So reports Chris Carroll. A further excerpt:
“We’re moving forward,” spokesman Joe Hendrix said Tuesday.
Mayfield is challenging U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. Using surveillance footage taken during a sparsely attended Mayfield rally at the Roane County Courthouse last week, police charged Michael Mayfield with vandalism under $500 after he confessed to using a pocketknife to disable a Fleischmann aide’s left rear tire.
In a Chattanooga Times Free Press article published Sunday, Republican activists and officials questioned Mayfield’s long-term political viability and seriousness as a candidate, citing an overall lack of substance and a batch of negative publicity since Michael Mayfield walked into the Kingston Police Department and said, “I did it.”
A few party leaders pondered whether the elder Mayfield would drop out amid the fallout.
“That would be the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard,” campaign strategist Tommy Hopper said, “and I’ve heard some really absurd things. It has never been discussed, suggested or considered, at least in my mind or presence.”
Campaign officials are seeking to distance themselves and the candidate from the incident, declining to comment beyond a written apology released Thursday.
“This is a family matter at this point,” Hendrix said. “It’s not part of the staff, not a part of the campaign and not a part of the candidate in terms of what he is trying to do.”
Records show Michael Mayfield gave his father the maximum campaign contribution of $5,000 in March. Before the alleged criminal act, he stepped off a tour bus commissioned by the Mayfield campaign. Afterward, security cameras filmed him walking into the Roane County Courthouse, where the campaign was holding a meet-and-greet session with officials. Several paid staff joined the districtwide tour.
Scottie Mayfield apologized to U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann “and to the voters” after his 33-year-old son confessed to slashing a Fleischmann staffer’s tire at a Mayfield campaign event, reports the Chattanooga Times-Free Press.
“I am truly sorry and embarrassed,” wrote Mayfield, who’s challenging Fleischmann in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. “This kind of activity has no place in campaigns and we are regretful that it happened.”
The Mayfield campaign initially denied having anything to do with the incident, and the well-known dairy executive issued a public apology at the same time the Kingston Police Department on Thursday charged his son with a misdemeanor — two facts Fleischmann campaign spokesman Jordan Powell cited in dismissing Scottie Mayfield’s atonement as “politically motivated.”
“Is he apologizing because he’s sorry or because his son got caught?” Powell said.
Police charged Michael Mayfield with vandalism under $500 after he confessed, officials said. The incident was caught on video.
Mayfield strategist Tommy Hopper recently promised that the campaign would abstain from “political games” and “silly and childish attempts to diminish the other guys” after another video — “Scottie Mayfield Struggles to Answer Basic Questions” — anonymously was uploaded to YouTube last week.
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