LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – A relatively cool race for the state’s 2nd Congressional District got heated Wednesday after Britani Potter accused incumbent Rep. Lynn Jenkins of spying.
“They were using fake names or they would give very limited information,” Potter said about people she saw at rallies during the summer months. After filing in May, Potter went on a 27 county tour to meet her potential constituents.
Currently Potter is on the school board in Ottawa.
“We’ve got pictures of them at our events and then I’ve compared them to their Facebook and LinkedIn pages that show they work for Congresswoman Jenkins and they are also on her FEC documents as salary dismemberment,” Potter said about what she found after encountering several staffers at rallies.
Sending staff to an opponents rally is called “tracking.” It is widely accepted in the industry but where the line is after things go too far isn’t always clear.
“It’s a little bit murky, because the question is: Are these tracker supposed to identify themselves as track is openly?” said KSNT News’ political analyst Bob Beatty. “Or are they allowed to sort of sit there and almost pretend to be just showing up for the event? It’s a real murky area and sometimes it can be sort of an unseemly area of American politics.
But Potter said the actions of a few of the Jenkins’ staff went too far.
And Jenkins acknowledged the issue in a statement released Thursday.
“Ms. Potter is running for office while repeatedly refusing to give an honest answer on who she supports for president, whether she believes Guantanamo Bay should be closed, or her position on the second amendment,” the statement from Lee Modesitt started. “In order to get answers on these important federal issues, members of the campaign attended public campaign events and monitored her campaign Facebook page…Unfortunately, there is little interaction on her Facebook page and literally no one else showed up to many of her events. As such, a few members of our college aged campaign staff were overly aggressive in trying to get answers. Upon learning of this, the Congresswoman advised those staff members that this is not how we run a campaign and has been assured it will not happen again.”