My name is Jason Sakran. I am a candidate for Charleston City Council District 3. When I decided to run for this seat, I made a vow to myself and to my competitors that I would run a positive, issue-focused race. Back in the spring, I met with Councilman James Lewis and another challenger, Jason Taylor, and we all agreed to keep it positive and focus on the issues.
Over the past week, four separate mailers have been sent to some District 3 residents. Two mailers were sent by the Lowcountry Livability PAC, which question Mr. Lewis’ focus on flooding and touts our need for new leadership. In full disclosure, the Livability PAC endorsed me and while I am glad they focused on the issue of flooding, I would have preferred the mailer articulate my personal vision and message. Having said that, the mailer clearly shows who paid for it and if interested, a person could easily search Lowcountry Livability PAC and find out who is on their steering committee. Again, I disagree with the tone of the mailer, but I would not categorize the mailer as a “dark money” hit job.
The two other mailers are not focused on any particular issue and offer no additional information about who sent them except committee names. One mailer was sent by the Committee to Have Our Voices Heard. This mailer attempted to use race as a motivating factor for choosing a candidate. This type of politics divides us. The other mailer was a personal attack and it was sent by the Committee for Leadership Integrity. My issue with the direct mail (including the Livability PAC) is that they do not put the candidate front and center. My specific concern with the other two mail pieces is the lack of transparency — I would definitely categorize them as dark money.
This type of politics is the last thing we need right now. These negative mailers are nothing new and I realize this commentary will not end them. Our mayoral race has also seen similar mailers being sent out and I think it’s critically important those seeking political office and those in office, denounce them. There is no place for them in our political discourse. I entered this race to share my story and vision and I honestly believe, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Taylor have tried to take a similar approach.
Jason Sakran is a candidate for Charleston City Council District 3. Read our coverage of local races on Nov. 5 at charlestoncitypaper.com/election.