Carl Mumpower, the Asheville City Council member and congressional candidate, fired his son from his campaign Friday after 24-year-old John Matthew Mumpower was arrested and charged with slugging another man at Wild Wing Cafe.
The younger Mumpower, who goes by Matt Mumpower, and another man were marking “Thirsty Thursday” at the Biltmore Avenue bar about 12:30 a.m. Friday, according to an incident report written by Officer J. Brown, when a fight broke out. “According to the offender, the victim danced upon him in a mocking fashion and the offender struck him with a closed fist in the head/face area,” Brown’s report states. Mumpower was arrested and charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor.
In describing the incident to Xpress Friday, Carl Mumpower said that “some guy grabbed [Matt Mumpower] in a sexually suggestive way” and “that made Matt angry.” Mumpower said his son called him Friday morning to tell him what had happened.
“I was disappointed, hurt. He had been cautioned numerous times about the vulnerabilities that goes with a situation like this,” a despondent Mumpower said.
Mumpower, a Republican, said his son, working as his campaign coordinator, played an important role in his bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler, who represents the 11th Congressional District for Western North Carolina. “I was really enjoying working with Matt. He was doing a good job. He’ll be missed.”
Mumpower said that several volunteers in the campaign were upset that he had fired his son. But “he’s accountable for his behavior,” Mumpower said. “I’m going to hold him accountable. That’s no the kind of behavior that ought to be going on.”
“I’ll take the heat and he’ll take the responsibility.”
Click here to go to the Xpress Files and read the Asheville Police Department report about the incident.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor