Greene County included in questionable campaign tactic

Edited Tuesday at 5:45 pm

At least one Greene County precinct in the Republican caucus was hit with what Dr Ben Carson’s campaign has identified as a “dirty trick” attributed to the campaign of Sen Ted Cruz.

The Carson campaign alleges that the Cruz campaign sent messages were  sent  via Twitter and email immediately before the start of the caucuses saying that Carson was dropping out of the race. The Cruz campaign has denied the allegation.

At the central precinct caucus at Clover Hall, the floor was open for supporters of each candidate to speak, with the roll call being in alphabetical order. No one stood to speak for Gov Jeb Bush.

As chair Lindsey Larson called for support of Dr Ben Carson, Kristi Holz Berg, who was in front of the group serving as timekeeper, said she had received an email saying it was likely Carson was dropping out of the race.

Bill Sutton had already been recognized and was standing to speak. He replied that he knew nothing of that, and Berg answered that she had just received the information.

Caucus chair Lindsey Larson also said he hadn’t heard and invited Sutton to go ahead and speak as he had planned. Sutton spoke and the caucus continued.

Voting followed two persons speaking on behalf of Donald Trump. There was no mention prior to the voting of whether Carson was a candidate.

Carson received six votes at the central precinct caucus and 62 votes in the county.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Carson said Monday night in a video posted online. “This latest set of dirty tricks just intensified my desire to work extremely hard to break down the ugliness in the system and bring it back to ‘We the People’.”

Sutton said Tuesday that he was “disappointed” that the agenda at the caucus had been interrupted by Holz’s comment. He said he had already been recognized to speak and that Holz’s comment was “inappropriate” at that time.

Sutton said he thinks the false information probably did have an impact on Carson’s performance in the straw poll across Iowa. Carson finished in fourth place with 9.31 percent of the vote.

Rep Steve King, who endorsed Cruz, was one who spread the erroneous information. “Carson looks like he is out. Iowans need to know before they vote. Most will go to Cruz, I hope,” King Tweeted at 7:20 pm.

An article posted to Huffpost Tuesday said King based his Tweet on a CNN reporter’s Tweet. That Tweet, by  Chris Moody, said  that Carson would not be going to New Hampshire or South Carolina, but would instead go home to Florida for rest and relaxation. Moody’s Tweet was sent in the late afternoon.

Holz told GreeneCountyNewsOnline Tuesday afternoon that it was the CNN Tweet she saw Monday afternoon, and that’s what she was referring to at the caucus.

She is a Cruz supporter and said she has spoken with Cruz several times. “It doesn’t seem like something he would do,” she said defending Cruz against the allegations that he played a role in the misinterpreted Tweets.

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