NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 19, 2013

Earls calls for investigation of 'ugly' campaign tactics

NEWBURYPORT -- Former mayoral candidate Greg Earls has requested that state authorities investigate an anonymous letter of condemnation that has been sent to his residence.

The letter purports to be from “a very large group of friends and supporters” but Earls discounted that.

“It was obviously meant to bully me,” he said yesterday.

Earls came in third to Mayor Donna Holaday and City Councilor Dick Sullivan Jr. in a primary election last month, which eliminated him from the race for mayor. He drew 1,303 votes. Holaday had 1,498 and Sullivan polled 1,354. Earls asked for a recount, but the tally barely changed.

Though he toyed with the idea of running as a write-in candidate for an at-large seat on the City Council, he recently said he is not seeking write-in votes.

Mailed to his Milk Street residence, the one-page, typed letter attacked him on several fronts -- it accused him of being complicit in a campaign to attack Holaday with an anonymous flier and robocalls, of wasting taxpayer money by asking for a vote recount, not routinely attending Veterans Day and Memorial Day services, and surrounding himself with “hateful” advisors. It also attacks him for “supporting” Sullivan, whom the letter writers describe as “a bully” and “an idiot.”

Earls has consistently said he was not involved in the anonymous attacks against Holaday, and has not endorsed either Sullivan or Holaday.

The letter urged Earls to support Holaday.

“If you really care about the community whatever problem you have with Mayor Holaday -- be grown ups and deal with it,” it read.

The letter ended by saying it was from, “A large group of your former supporters.” There were no signatures.

Earls said, “I don’t know who sent this but it is interesting that it was mailed at the same Boston Post Office as the ‘anti-Holaday, anti-NRA flyer’ that was mailed prior during the preliminary election.”

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