A new report claims that a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Wisconsin is misleading voters, a claim she derides as a tempest over a typo.
A report from Breitbart News on Thursday claimed that candidate Leah Vukmir is actually driving a Toyota Camry in campaign videos that purport to show her on part of what she has described as an intensive effort to connect with voters around the state.
The site also noted that Vukmir’s fundraising material said she was driving an American-made car, a Ford.
“From the more than 50,000 miles I’ve put on my Ford to listen and share my ideas, I’m discovering that grassroots Wisconsinites of all ages are fed up too,” Vukmir wrote in the letter.
A video released by the campaign shows Vukmir behind the wheel of a car, but the logo of the steering wheel is blurred.
Breitbart’s Thursday report did not include a comment from the candidate, but on Friday, the campaign offered a conflicting rebuttal.
Mary Beth Gahn, identified as a top fundraiser for Vukmir, said the Breitbart report was wrong by tweeting, “I’ve driven it. It’s a Ford.” The tweet was later deleted.
The candidate herself then appeared on a radio show and offered a different explanation, according to a Friday Breitbart report.
“I honestly think Andrew Breitbart is turning in his grave to think that this is what they have been, they have resorted to,” the site quoted her as saying.
“Look it was a typo that was done by our direct mail vendor. We noticed it right away, but of course, it had gone out. I think there was a local reporter that contacted us about it and when we explained it to them, they were like OK yeah that’s kind of dumb and that was months ago,” she said.
"It was a typo that was done by our direct mail" vendor. — GOP Wisconsin US Senate candidate Leah Vukmir response to Breitbart article that said Vukmir said in direct-mail piece that she drives a Ford but actually drives a Toyota. https://t.co/IfMeewcJn2 #wisen #wipolitics pic.twitter.com/Y2iTzmnqNo
— Tom Kertscher (@KertscherNews) July 27, 2018
Jess Ward, Vukmir’s campaign manager, also contradicted the fundraising letter and Gahn.
“Leah drives a Toyota. Period. Her direct mail firm mistakenly listed in a fundraising letter that she drove a Ford. Unfortunately, the error was not caught in time,” Ward said in an email.
“Mary Beth Gahn is grossly mistaken, and if she was driving a Ford, it was not Leah’s. While I do not expect to get a fair shake from you or anyone else at Breitbart, I can assure you that Leah has no qualms about driving a Toyota. Your obsession with this nothing-burger of a story is amusing.”
Vukmir faces businessman Kevin Nicholson in a Republican primary. The winner of the GOP contest faces incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Wisconsin, which has traditionally backed Democratic candidates, supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
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