Updated 3:46 p.m.: Mountain Xpress reporter Jake Frankel alleges on Twitter that the Holly Jones image used in one of the controversial billboards, taken by Xpress photographer Max Cooper, was used without permission.
The Buncombe County Republican Party recently announced it had planned to post several billboards around the county. The party says the billboards are using a little Halloween humor to poke fun at Democrats, but some commenters on Facebook say the ads are in poor taste.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports today that the Buncombe GOP decided not to put the billboards up:
“It does go beyond our scope of how we feel politics should be run,” said Nathan West, spokesman for the Buncombe County GOP. “The billboard is not being run. The billboard has never gone up.”
Here’s the original announcement from the Buncombe GOP:
The Buncombe County Republican Party is pleased to announce that over this past weekend a series of new billboards began appearing in multiple locations throughout the county — with more going up over the next several days promoting Republican values in this year’s election.
The billboards, placed strategically around the county, are graphically powerful and contain the tagline “This year, vote Republican” appearing on most of them. The language is intentional; part of a campaign to reach out to conservative Democrat and unaffiliated voters — and they’ve added a little Halloween humor as well.
“Honestly, this is a campaign to reach more than Republicans, said Nathan West, Communications Director for the Buncombe County Republican Party. “Our messaging reaches out to conservative Democrats and unaffiliated folks to encourage them to vote Republican this year — folks who may have never voted for a Republican candidate before.” said West. “But of course, we need our Republican friends to turn out this year and vote too.”
“We’re asking folks to vote Republican this year.” said BCGOP Chairman Henry Mitchell. “And we promise…we won’t tell your friends if you do,” he joked.