Opponents To Richmond Mayor Make Election Personal

RICHMOND (CBS) – There is some mud slinging going on in Richmond politics as representatives of both police and firefighters unions made some strong accusations against the mayor as she runs for re-election.

The president of the Richmond Police Officer’s Association, police Sgt. Andre Hill, cited 2003 court documents that show Gayle McLaughlin filed for bankruptcy to dismiss $100,000 in student loan debt. Documents also quoted McLaughlin as having suffered “serious psychiatric disabilities.”

”This is about transparency,” said Hill. “The voters of Richmond deserve to know who they are electing.”

KCBS Dave Padilla Reporting:

The president of Richmond Firefighters Local 188 Jim Russey also called for transparency, and yet was not forthcoming on who the unions are backing for mayor. The name of councilman Nat Bates has surfaced.

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin held a press conference some hours after Richmond Police and Fire representatives held theirs, claiming that councilman and mayoral candidate Nat Bates distributed the information about her financial and personal history.

“Some years in my earlier life were extremely challenging,” said McLaughlin. “I was the victim of multiple crimes and experienced a host of personal losses, including debilitating illnesses and deaths within my family.”

McLaughlin said her health and personal finances had suffered because this these challenges, but emphasized that was all in the past and that she has overcome these obstacles. McLaughlin says these challenges have made a wiser and more compassionate woman, leader and public servant.

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