Mississippi gubernatorial candidate asks female reporter to bring male chaperone

National News

(WMC/NBC News) — A Mississippi gubernatorial candidate is facing criticism after denying a female reporter access to his campaign…unless she brings along a male colleague.

Robert Foster, a DeSoto County state representative and Republican candidate for governor, says he didn’t want people to get the wrong idea seeing him alone with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Larrison Campbell, a politics reporter for Mississippi Today, said her publication shadowed the other Republican candidates for Mississippi governor and wanted to do the same with Foster.

“We want to show our readers what it’s like to be on the campaign trail, but sort of like the candidate’s goals for Mississippi through the lens of how they’re interacting with people, how they’re campaigning, how they’re selling their message,” said Campbell.

Shadowing candidates on the campaign trail is a common practice in political journalism. National political reporters often do it with presidential candidates, interviewing them at different stops, riding with them on campaign buses and capturing some of their lighter, human moments.

Foster said he was also worried about political perceptions, with the Republican primary under a month away.

“It’s all a possibility that the my political opponents could try to exploit something against me if they wanted to, if they feel threatened in the race that they might need an extra bump in the polls or knock me down a few points,” said Foster. “There’s a lot of things out there in the #MeToo movement, all of the things happening where people are making claims, accusations against people, and I don’t ever want to put myself in a position to where it could be a he-said she-said situation. I want to make sure that I protect myself and my family and my marriage with not having anybody make claims that can’t be refuted other than just my word.”

Read more: http://bit.ly/2Ga8FvF

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