A congressional race in North Carolina is heating up after the Republican incumbent reported a Twitter user aligned with his Democratic challenger for allegedly making threats and spreading unfounded rumors that’s he’s having an affair with a man.
U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who’s seeking his third term representing the 6th District, fired back against the salacious rumors spread by his Democratic opponent Ryan Watts and one of his vocal supporters on social media.
“The lies, allegations and foul language being spread by my opponent and his self-proclaimed ‘wingman’ have forced me to engage,” Walker wrote on Facebook last week, adding screen grabs of some social media posts, including where Watts criticized Walker for mouthing “empty words.”
“I have remained silent for more than a year as Ryan and his friends have spread garbage, attacking my wife Kelly while also mentioning my children. The latest smear being peddled is that I am having an extramarital affair with another man,” he added.
Walker’s staff reported the Twitter user to the U.S. Capitol Police over some comments that are perceived to be harassing and threatening,” McClatchy reported.
“After a number of threatening messages, including bombing references, mentions of Walker and his family, and attempts to locate the school his daughter attends, our staff sent the message contents to the Capitol Police,” Jack Minor, Walker’s campaign spokesman told the outlet. “Capitol Police decided to investigate the threat.”
The Republican lawmaker says that while his opponent didn’t write the rumors himself, his campaign amplified the salacious gossip by “retweeting” and “liking” the posts made by Andrew Cabaccang, the person behind the Twitter account.
He also pointed out that in an interview Millennial Politics Podcast, the host called Cabaccang a “wingman” for Watts. The Democratic himself once wrote in a tweet that “Drew is a very loyal follower! I appreciate his support.”
Cabaccang told McClatchy that authorities visited him last month on behalf of the FBI over the alleged threats.
“It’s just petty, petty, petty. I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cabaccang said, despite a number of controversial posts, including asking which school Walker’s daughter is attending and suggesting Walker is having an affair with another man.
He called the investigation an “abuse of power” by the Republican.
The Democrat’s campaign distanced from the Twitter user, saying the campaign has no relationship with Cabaccang. Watts told McClatchy that he only communicated with the man only via Twitter and even asked him to take down some posts.
The Watts campaign accused Walker of “throwing our campaign under the bus even though there’s no merit to it. I’m not surprised Walker and his campaign would stoop to this level, and we’re trying to rise above it.”