CENTREVILLE — Both candidates for Centreville Town Council decried a postcard mailer many town residents received Wednesday, Oct.2.
The postcard appeared to be a blatant attempt to smear the reputation of candidate Josh Shonts. It referred to Shonts’ business history, referencing matters of public record on Maryland Judiciary Case Search. The mailing also used a defaced logo of Shonts’ business, Smoke, Rattle and Roll.
Shonts’ opponent, George “Smokey” Sigler, took to social media at the end of the day.
“There has been a vicious attack against my opponent,” Sigler wrote. “It did not originate with me or with my knowledge. This goes beyond the pale.”
Also posting on social media, Shonts wrote, “I have already addressed these issues [regarding his public record] line by line ... The issue I have now is the person who sent out the mailer has attacked my business ... attempting to destroy the livelihood of myself, partners, and employees and this will not be taken lightly.”
Shonts said small business is not always easy, but he had been open and forthcoming, answering all questions relating to his business history. He said it is well known that he wants to make a significant change within the town and realizes that “is going to upset the applecart.”
“Why are you trying so hard to keep someone new out?” he asked.
Town residents and outsiders quickly jumped to the defense of both men — with some who previously were undecided stating they now would support Shonts.
Sigler’s wife Deb said they received the mailing to their home as well and immediately reached out to Shonts.
Many online wrote in support of Sigler’s character, saying they knew he wasn’t responsible.
The mailer had no credit or authority line, as required on political advertisements.
Shonts did not accuse Sigler of the mailing. He asked if it might be the work of a member of a current or past administration with something to hide.
The election will take place Monday, Oct. 7, at the Queen Anne’s County Office Building, Planning & Zoning meeting room, 110 Vincit St., Centreville. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.