With 12 days to go before the city-wide primary, campaign insiders are expecting the tone and tenor to get worse before it gets better. Staffers agree -- it's been a rough few days in terms of disturbing tactics.
On Wednesday night, the campaigns got together for a more informal forum sponsored by KFAB at Anthony's Steakhouse, 72nd and F.
For the first hour, the candidates mingled with the crowd in the buffet-style setting. It was a chance for many voters to talk one-on-one with the candidates.
The five major candidates welcomed it considering many issues had taken a backseat to recent controversies.
On the heels of Councilman Jerram apologizing for appearing in a photo next to a t-shirt depicting Jean Stothert as a stripper,
there has been a heavy dose of anonymous social media and mailers mostly targeting her. "What is being said are lies -- the negative push poll is a lie and mail pieces are lies," said mayoral candidate Stothert.
The candidates say it takes away from the conversation on issues. "We can't stop the outside stuff but it detracts the issues from what we're trying to do as a community," said mayoral candidate Brad Ashford.
"I can only control what I am doing," said mayoral candidate Dave Nabity. "If I have a problem with a candidate -- you know me. I'm direct. I'll say it. I'll put my name on it and it will be from my campaign."
With 12 days to go in the election, insiders believe the negative talk will still be there.
"It's completely uncalled for and out of bounds," said mayoral candidate Dan Welch, speaking about the t-shirt and tweets aimed at Stothert. "Obviously it's a small group of people who have no sense whatsoever...it's time to move on."
"It's important that we as candidates take the high road and be adults and stay with the issues," said mayoral candidate and incumbent Jim Suttle. "This is what the public deserves to hear."
The primary is April 2. The top two vote-getters move on to the general election in mid-May.