North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District Republican candidate, Army special forces veteran Christian Castelli, claims the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Kathy Manning, is making false statements about him, and he’s just filed a cease-and-desist letter to make it stop.
The day before his legal team at Adams and Winfree sent the later, Castelli told Carolina Journal, “I’ve got a whole team of people looking at our options, but everything from reaching out to the campaign and asking them in a gentlemanly fashion to knock it off, to putting them on official notice with a cease-and-desist.”
Castelli apparently chose the latter option and announced the move on Twitter:
In the Oct. 27 interview with CJ, Castelli said the first major lie Manning and her campaign continue to tell is that he doesn’t live in the district. He says his longtime home had been in the district when he began running, but then he was redistricted out after the state Supreme Court had the districts redrawn. After this, he told his supporters that he would move across the line to the new district if he won the primary, a promise which he said he kept.
He said the Constitution only requires a candidate to live in the state and to be 25 years old, so he would have fully qualified even if he hadn’t moved.
“Well I’m 52 and have been a resident of North Carolina for 24 years, most of that time serving my country at Fort Bragg, which is why I lived in Moore County. And so I said during the primary that if I won the primary I would relocate to the district, and I did immediately following the primary.”
But he said, “She continues to tell people I don’t live in the district.”
The second alleged lie he cited was Manning stating in front of a group of senior citizens at a nursing home that Castelli planned on cutting both Social Security and Medicare. He said he not only opposes doing that, but because of his special-needs daughter on Social Security Disability, as well as his aging parents who are both on Social Security, protecting those programs is a very personal issue for him.
He said it doesn’t appear that Manning’s talking points on him cutting entitlements had anything to do with anything he’s said or any of his positions but is something that Democrats are using as an attack across the country. On a conference call with other GOP congressional candidates, many of them reported being under the same line of attack from their opponents.
“First of all, it’s factually incorrect; second of all, it’s a flat-0ut lie; and then when you add my personal situation with my handicap daughter; and then, on top of that, saying it at a nursing home — it was almost elder abuse. She was scaring the daylights out of a bunch of elderly folks in their 80s, saying I’m going to take away their Social Security and reduce their Medicare benefits. I mean, it’s a flat-out lie. It needs to stop. She needs to retract these statements and correct the record.”
And the last topic that he said Manning and her campaign have been lying about is abortion.
“She has stated emphatically, nonstop, on television and in print media, mailers, that I am against abortion under all circumstances, which is not the case,” Castelli said. “I recognize that there will need to be exceptions for the cases of incest, rape, and when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. I have stated that publicly numerous times, and she continues that line of attack on me, which is nothing more than scare tactics, trying to get the young-women vote.”
In one ad from Manning’s campaign, titled “Every,” the narrator says that Castelli wants a “national ban on abortion, even in cases when a woman’s health is in danger.”
Castelli said that he believes Manning is focusing on these three issues, and misconstruing his positions on them, because she does not want to talk about the five issues that he has chosen to focus on in his campaign — the economy, energy, school choice, crime, and immigration.
“I mean, those five issues that we’re focusing on are issues that effect every American regardless of race, color, creed, religion, socio-economic class, or party affiliation.”
Castelli said that he has had some negative interactions at polling places, which may be based partly on these mischaracterizations. In one incident, a Democrat came up and taunted him by asking him about living outside the district. And in another incident, a male in his 40s got in his face and used a string of profanities against him.
Castelli said that he believes the district is much more competitive than most assume. He cited the Cook Political Report, which had the race as a D+4, and the Republican National Committee, which told him they consider it a D+2.
“That’s absolutely consistent with what we’ve been seeing in my polls and what we’re seeing on the ground,” Castelli said. “So I think this is a winnable district that is ripe to return to Republican representation.”
He said his internal polling showed him trailing by two points, which corroborates the RNC’s D+2 assessment.
Carolina Journal reached out to the Manning campaign on Oct. 28 for a response to Castelli’s allegations of lying but have not heard back by time of publication.
The full letter, sent to media outlets who may play the campaign ads in question, can be read below: