Lynn Chapman, Republican candidate for the 32nd District House of Delegates, released a personal statement Tuesday morning, condemning a push poll residents linked to his campaign that asked questions about his opponent, Del. David Poisson (D-32).
According to two letters to the editor, the poll asked questions such as, "Would it affect my vote if I knew that Delegate Poisson is a closet homosexual? and "Would it affect my vote if I knew Delegate Poisson harbors illegal aliens or if he had a firm [connection] to Jack Abramoff."
"Those questions were not in our recent public opinion poll, contrary to the claims in the Connection article," Chapman said in the e-mail. "However it does appear that calls were made to voters in the district that asked those questions. I do not know who is making the calls."
Chapman said he believes a third party may be making the telephone calls.
"If the calls are being made by people who have the mistaken view that this tactic somehow helps my campaign, I want them to know that I am personally offended by such tactics," he said. "Unfounded anonymous personal attacks against political candidates undermine the integrity of our fundamental democratic processes no matter who uses them and no matter how justifiable the cause may seem."
Poisson was informed of the poll while he was on a college tour with his wife and daughter.
"Obviously none of these statements are true," Poisson said last week. "I am a husband and father."
ALTHOUGH THE HOUSE Republican Campaign Committee conducted a poll on behalf of Chapman for Delegate on July 16 and 17, Chapman said the questions asked were standard issues ones, not like the questions cited in the letters to the editor.
Public Opinion Strategies, a national Republican political and public affairs research firm based out of Alexandria, conducted the poll.
"It was not my selection, but they are one of the most reputable in the business," Chapman said. "I approved and authorized the poll to be conducted."
IN AN EFFORT to move forward, Chapman said he would like to focus on the issues most important to the 32nd District, growth, transportation, taxes and immigration.
"This race is a unique opportunity for this community because the nature of the differences between me and Delegate Poisson involve two very different views about policy choices relative to growth, transportation, taxes and immigration and about the vision for the future of our community," he said in his e-mail. "These views represent honest differences of opinion that are worthy of scrutiny and discussion. The best thing that could happen for this community in this election cycle is for there to be a vigorous discussion of the differences in our views and approaches to addressing these pressing issues."