Joey Osborne, a conservative Republican and businessman in the race who says of growing up poor, “I’ve never had a choice but to create jobs,” is demanding Bennett quit the race over her alleged Never Trumpism and the FEC issue.
From a release Osborne’s campaign sent out this morning:
“Lynda Bennett has made herself unelectable in a General Election against any qualified Democrat opponent,” commented Joey Osborne. “There is nothing more important than making sure we elect a Republican who will be able to work with President Trump and help regain leadership in Congress. Lynda Bennett’s campaign missteps have rendered her unelectable and now she is only taking votes away from good Republican candidates.”
Osborne points to Bennett’s “Never Trumper” rant and illegal campaign activities as the top reasons Bennett is a fatally flawed potential nominee for the Republican Party moving forward. The greatest concern comes with the “Official Conservative Ballot Committee” flyer coordinated and distributed by the Bennett campaign. The flyer does not have the required federal disclaimer and likely violates other FEC laws with regard to who paid for and authorized the contents. The committee responsible for the flyer was originally registered directly through a consultant who had been paid over $40,000 by the Bennett campaign.
“I believe that there is little doubt the promotion and distribution of the Conservative Ballot by the Bennett campaign is a substantial violation of Federal Election Commission law. It is both unethical and illegal. Should she be elected, she would likely face a House ethics investigation and possible sanctions,” said Osborne. “We cannot have a Republican nominee with these violations and ethics issues hanging over their head. This seat is too important. Republicans and North Carolinians can’t suffer through another campaign where the results are questioned because of the lack of oversight a candidate has over their paid consultants.”
Osborne also commented on the controversial “Never Trumper” audio of Lynda Bennet that has been widely distributed. “Whether or not Lynda was a never Trumper will not matter in the General Election. Some well-funded group supporting the Democrat nominee will endlessly use that bizarre never Trump audio to divide Republicans. That audio is extremely ugly and tough to defend. It will be a challenge Republicans should not have to face given we have other, more qualified options in the Primary Election.”
Osborne is unlikely to best Bennett on election night. He is a lesser-known candidate, and does not live in the district (Bennett does).
However, his demands are an indicator that the allegations against Bennett are picking up steam and may cost her support over the next week- or at least that her opponents will leverage them to attack her fiercely.