A race for a vacant seat in the US House of Representatives has set a new low for negative campaigning.
Susan Wright, a Texas Republican running to fill the House seat left vacant by her deceased husband, was shocked to learn that her supporters had been receiving calls from her opponent insinuating that she murdered her spouse.
Politico reported that she was "seeking help from federal law enforcement" the day before special elections are scheduled to take place in order to address the robocalls.
"Wright's campaign reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice on Friday after discovering robocalls baselessly alleging that she had 'murdered' her husband, the late GOP Rep. Ron Wright. Wright is running in the special election to succeed Wright, who passed away in February after being diagnosed with coronavirus," the report stated.
The robocalls were sent by a blocked number.
The calls reportedly begin with a female voice claiming that Ms Wright "murdered her husband" and was running for Congress to "cover it up."
The voice then cites "confidential sources" and claims that Ms Wright "obtained a $1m life insurance policy on the life of her husband ... six months before his death."
Ms Wright's husband, former US Rep. Ron Wright, died at age 67 from the coronavirus in February.
The call claims that she "tearfully confided in a nurse that she had purposely contracted the coronavirus" in order to pass it to her husband.
According to the strange call, the hospital "has made a formal criminal referral to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they have no opened a formal criminal inquiry into the matter," before saying "it is clear the voters of Texas' 6th Congressional District deserve to know the truth about Susan Wright and her involvement in the dead of her husband."
The calls do not have a "paid-for" attribution common in political advertisements.
To make matters worse for the congressional candidate, anyone casually searching Google to confirm the claims using terms like "Susan Wright" and "murder" will be directed to a host of articles about another Susan Wright who actually did murder her husband in 2003.
Ms Wright has been backed by former President Donald Trump, and is facing former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer, former Trump official Brian Harrison, Michael Wood, a businessman, and Jake Ellzey.
Mr Ellzey said that the calls were "unbelievable that anybody would stoop so low."
Mr Harrison also condemned the call, saying voters were "sick of candidates resorting to disgraceful negative attacks."
The candidate said her aides learned of the robocalls on Friday morning. The special election is scheduled for Saturday.
"This is illegal, immoral, and wrong. There’s not a sewer too deep that some politicians won’t plumb," Ms Wright said in a statement.
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