People Advocating for Real Conservancy unleashed the first video salvo of this year’s Asheville City Council race, attacking candidate Mark Cates for his connections to the Asheville Tea Party.
“Most of the candidates have been open and honest about their backgrounds, but one of them, Mark Cates, is presenting himself as a progressive, while hiding his connections to the Asheville Tea Party,” says a narrator in the video, which was distributed via the progressive advocacy group’s Oct. 8 email newsletter. “We’ve seen what Tea Party representatives have done in Washington and Raleigh. We don’t need that here in Asheville. Don’t fall for Cate’s deception when you vote on Tuesday,” she continues.
Watch it here:
The video release follows a Oct. 6 post on the Scrutiny Hooligans blog by City Council member Gordon Smith, who reported that Cates was a bookkeeper for the Asheville Tea PAC and has been asking Tea Party activists to volunteer for his campaign.
The only registered Republican in the race, Cates previously told Xpress that he feels he’s been mistreated because of his party affiliation.
“If you’re a Republican in this town, people will treat you poorly,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s something that has to change. No one should be concerned about telling people their political affiliation and telling them they’re a Republican. No one should be treated as an outcast because they’re a Republican.”
He’s also been presenting his economic-development plan as a bipartisan measure, which calls for making Asheville a home for “global environmentalism.”
“If you look at at my economic plan, I tried to build something in that plan that would appeal to everyone,” he said. “We needed a way to reach out to everyone in the community. And this is extremely important issue, and it’s an issue we’re extremely passionate about in Asheville.”
Cates surprised some by tying with candidate Marc Hunt for the top spot in a Sept. 22 straw poll organized by Get There Asheville, a coalition of city residents who advocate for multimodal transit development such as bike lanes, sidewalks and greenways.
The primary election will be held this Tuesday, Oct. 11.