Opossum With Death Threat Found In Candidate's Yard
by Mark Bellinger
DOYLE, Tenn. - Negative campaigning reached new heights in one mid-state community. A mayoral candidate in Doyle, Tennessee received a death threat: a note attached to a dead opossum.
The target was mayoral candidate Ray Spivey. Spivey had little to say about it, saying it has disrupted what has been a pretty civil campaign.
"Well, all I've got to say is it's a small community. They're tore up enough. We don't need that kind of stuff down here, so that's all I want to say about it," said Spivey.
Some call it a sick prank, but others say it should be taken seriously.
The population of Doyle is about 600. About half of the residents are registered voters, so when this picture hit the local newspaper it was the buzz all over town.
"They shouldn't be going around throwing dead opossums in somebody's yard with a knife in it. It's just not right," Doyle resident Evelyn Tindle said.
The attached note said, "Get out of election or your next." The dead animal was thrown into Ray Spivey's front yard.
"Well, I think it's awful if somebody did that to him. It's just an election. It shouldn't be all that, you know," said resident Jill Sherrer.
In a race where just a few votes could make a difference, some wonder if something like this could make a difference. Most people say probably not.
"I don't think it's going to scare people out. No, they're going to vote how they want to. It's someone just pulling something and I don't think it's going to scare them off," Herman Maynard said.
"It shouldn't be about that. It should be about taking care of taking care of the city of Doyle, and it's not. It's about who's going to get in and who is not," said Tindle.
The sheriff's department is investigating. A deputy has dusted the knife for finger prints.
Maynard said whoever is captured should pay the price.
"I think they should have to do a pretty good fine and a little time or something like that. That's not nice to play like that," Tindle said.
It might not be nice, but it has people talking. The opossum story has received more online hits than any other at the local newspaper. Spivey wishes people would pay more attention to the issues facing the city.
"The election is over at 7 o'clock, so whatever it is, it is," said Spivey.
We tried unsuccessfully to contact Spivey's opponent, Charlie Cloyd. Cloyd did tell the local newspaper his campaign had nothing to do with it, and he does not condone this kind of activity.
Police said if the person responsible for the threatening note is found they could be charged with harassment.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:04:23 GMT
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