Security Camera Catches Democratic Candidate Stealing Republican Opponent's Flyer


A Delaware homeowner’s front porch surveillance camera captured embarrassing footage of a Democratic candidate for state House.

As WCAU-TV reported, Randy J. Smith of Middletown posted a Facebook update on Sunday including a video apparently showing Monique Johns approach his door and pilfer a campaign flyer for her Republican opponent in the state representative race for Delaware’s 9th District.

Incumbent Kevin Hensley can be seen approaching Smith’s door, followed sometime later by Johns, who removed his campaign literature to replaced it with her own.

The social media post sparked widespread backlash against the Democrat.

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“That is messed up and she should be ashamed,” Beth Sonchen Bannister commented in response to Smith’s post. “Hopefully this gets shared enough that nobody will vote for a thief.”

Isn’t that the same as stealing a sign off someone’s property?” Michele Matranga Henninger asked. “She should be made to withdraw!”

Delaware Democratic Party Chairman Erik Raser-Schramm issued a statement distancing the state party from Johns’ actions.

Last night, I was made aware of an incident in which Monique Johns was seen on video removing her opponent's campaign…

Posted by Erik Raser-Schramm on Monday, October 22, 2018

“Without equivocation, we reject these tactics and call on Ms. Johns to join us in apologizing to Rep. Hensley and the voters of the 9th District, and to recommit herself to running the kind of campaign the Delaware Democratic Party demands from its candidates,” he said.

Shortly thereafter, Johns posted an apology of her own in which she acknowledged the act caught on tape.

Today, I ask for the forgiveness of the residents of the 9th Representative District. I made a mistake. I removed the…

Posted by Monique Johns on Monday, October 22, 2018

“Today, I ask for the forgiveness of the residents of the 9th Representative District,” she wrote. “I made a mistake. I removed the literature of my opponent’s campaign from the door of a voter. It was wrong and I should never have done it.”

Would you vote for a candidate who engaged in this kind of behavior?

Johns went on to describe the action as a regrettable “lapse in judgement,” adding that she would not attempt to make any excuses for the unacceptable behavior.

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In an interview with WDEL-TV, Smith said he based his assumption that the woman at his doorstep was Johns on the evidence he had available.

“With the Arlo system I can kind of zoom in, it’s pretty clear as day,” he said. “I did talk to a few people in our community, and they did say that they had interactions with (Johns) that day. I mean you can’t say 100 percent, it’s hard to tell if that is her, but it sure does look pretty close to her.”

Subsequent statements by Johns and the state party chairman left little doubt as to her identity.

“Campaigns are auditions for leadership positions, not win-at-all-cost prank wars,” Raser-Schramm wrote. “Tampering with the signs or campaign materials of an opponent isn’t just a bad election strategy – it’s bad for our democracy.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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