A mysterious group is sending out mailers in the competitive Democratic primary race for the Metro Council District 21 seat in south Louisville, but the candidate that the group is trying to help is now distancing himself and calling for them to cease and desist from such activity.
According to multiple District 21 residents who posted photos, a group called “Concerned Beechmont Citizens” has sent out at least two mailers in the past two days criticizing candidate Nicole George and advocating for the election of the incumbent Councilman Vitalis Lanshima.
There is no record of such a group on file with either the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance or the Kentucky Secretary of State, nor any contact information available on the mailer.
The poorly spelled mailers — accusing George of undermining “neigborhood (sic) intergrity (sic)” — criticize her for building a large garage and using a rental dumpster on her property. One of the mailers also lauds the work of Lanshima as a councilman in the position he was appointed to in December, after the district’s former council member Dan Johnson was removed from office.
The group also had a Facebook page with similar messaging, but was taken down at some point on Thursday.
Responding to questions and criticism on social media about the mysterious mailers, Lanshima’s campaign posted a Facebook message Friday afternoon distancing himself from Concerned Beechmont Citizens and asking them to stop.
“Our campaign has always focused on the issues that impact the residents of District 21,” stated the Facebook post. “Over the last few days, the conversation has been hijacked by a group so-called “concerned citizen”. This election should be about ideas. Whoever is responsible for the attacks or attempt to help me, you are actually hurting my Campaign. Please, stop! Cease and desist!”
On Thursday, Lanshima’s Facebook page also posted a message calling for the group’s Facebook page to be taken down, which it later was.
Insider Louisville was also told by a district resident that several weeks ago, Dan Johnson had been canvassing door-to-door for Lanshima and criticized the same rental dumpster on George’s property that the mailers of Concerned Beechmont Citizens referred to and used a photo of.
Over Facebook messenger, Lanshima told Insider on Friday that he had heard that Johnson was canvassing for him, but he “told him to stop.” He also said he was not aware of Johnson mentioning George’s dumpster while he was canvassing.
But in a phone interview on Friday, Johnson told Insider that Lanshima has never asked him to stop canvassing for his campaign. He also said that he “might have said something” about George’s dumpster while canvassing for Lanshima, because “she has the worst looking house on the parkway, in my opinion.”
Johnson added that he has nothing to do with Concerned Beechmont Citizens and has “no idea” who is behind it, but he is supporting Lanshima and has his campaign’s yard sign in front of his house.
Metro Council selected Lanshima to replace Johnson in a narrow vote over George in December, with all Republican members voting for Lanshima, along with five Democrats.
George did not immediately respond to questions from Insider for this story.
On Thursday, George addressed the attacks by the anonymous group in the Facebook video below: