Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Francis Received $20,600 in Donations from Antigay Former Senator Fred J. Smith, Smith's Wife, and Two of His Sons | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Francis Received $20,600 in Donations from Antigay Former Senator Fred J. Smith, Smith's Wife, and Two of His Sons

Posted by on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Charles Francis, Democratic candidate for mayor in a November 7 runoff, has received a total of $20,600 in donations from former Republican state Senator Fred J. Smith, Smith's wife and two of his sons, campaign records show.

In an interview, Francis strongly disputed the relevance of the funds, which amounted to about 10 percent of his total donations from individuals.

Fred J. Smith has become part of a campaign controversy because he was a supporter of the 2012 anti-same-sex-marriage Amendment 1.

The donations from the Smith family arose from Francis’s longtime business association with Fred Smith, with whom he helped found North State Bank, Francis said. The donations do not reflect Francis's strong support of LGBT people and issues, he said.
click to enlarge Mayoral candidate Charles Francis - PHOTO BY THOMAS GOLDSMITH
  • Photo by Thomas Goldsmith
  • Mayoral candidate Charles Francis

An INDY analysis of more recent campaign reports shows that Francis also received $5,200 from Virginia R. Smith, Fred J. Smith's wife; $5,200 from his son Reid M. Smith; and $5,000 from his son Fred Julius Smith III, known as Jules.

An earlier donation of $5,200 by developer former legislator Smith entered into the decision of EqualityNC, an LGBTQ advocacy group to drop its endorsement of Francis, the organization said Monday.

A Democratic lawyer and banker, Francis faces incumbent Mayor Nancy McFarlane in the runoff. In the initial round of voting on October 10, McFarlane won about 48 percent of the vote but did not receive the majority she needed to avoid a runoff.

McFarlane's campaign declined to comment on the donations Wednesday.

Fred J. Smith was a primary backer of Amendment 1, an anti-same-sex-marriage state referendum item that passed in 2012, but was negated by a federal court in 2014.

In rescinding its endorsement, Equality NC cited Francis's campaigning for Smith—Francis says it was one appearance ten years ago—and donations to him by anti-LGBTQ donors. The group had previously endorsed both Francis and McFarlane.

The donations from Republicans including Smith, he said, are distractions from his message that McFarlane lacks leadership and a vision for the future of Raleigh.

“The media is distorting the importance of Republican and downplaying the widespread donations I have received from prominent Democrats," Francis said. "The fact that I can generate Republican support shows that I can generate support from people with different points of view."

Francis cited Democratic donors to his campaign including former U.S. Ambassador Jeanette W. Hyde, a longtime Democratic fundraiser; Everett Ward, former executive director of the state party; and Deborah Holder, a Raleigh Democrat who is the sister-in-law of Eric Holder, a U.S. attorney general under President Obama.

Francis said his one campaign appearance in support of Fred J. Smith came when the candidate for state Senate was trying to gain support from African-American voters in Johnston County. 

"When I spoke on behalf of Fred at that event, it was him trying to reach out to a wider community," Francis said. "Fred has told me we do disagree on many issues. But he supports me for three reasons: character and competence and consistency."

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (35)

Showing 1-35 of 35

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-35 of 35

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

> Eventually, a claim to the county insurance company showed that $2.333,591.30 in cash had disappeared, almost daily, for nearly …

by xdu on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

Fine work, Mr. Billman. Your readers are probably aware that most of the NC conservative shenanigans can be laid at …

by growlybear on The Republican Power Plays at the Heart of N.C. Politics (News)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

> Eventually, a claim to the county insurance company showed that $2.333,591.30 in cash had disappeared, almost daily, for nearly …

by xdu on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

Fine work, Mr. Billman. Your readers are probably aware that most of the NC conservative shenanigans can be laid at …

by growlybear on The Republican Power Plays at the Heart of N.C. Politics (News)

I have very little patience for the empty-headed Pro-poison crowd, which is begging the government to take everyones rights away …

by DoritoReiss on The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law (News)

About time some one fixed this.

by Bob Schroeck on Durham Attorney Scott Holmes Challenges N.C. Court Fees as Unconstitutional (News)

And I'm just getting started- What do you think of a society that ritualizes placing its babies -their most vulnerable, …

by Nellie McFarlane De Jong on The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation