FRANKFORT, IL — Campaign officials hoping to get Illinois State Sen. Michael Hastings re-elected are fighting back against allegations that the campaign aimed to mislead local voters with a letter that opponents say appeared to be written by Hastings’ ex-wife.
The letter, which is signed by Kate Hastings, was mailed to the homes of residents living in the 19th District and sent through text messages and on social media. In the letter, the senator is characterized as an “extraordinary father and husband” and says Hastings “is the best person to be our State Senator.”
However, the letter never specifies who Kate Hastings is, but a spokesman for the senator told Patch on Wednesday that Michael Hastings (D-Frankfort) had said previously told voters that the letter was penned by his sister, Kate.
Michael Hastings’ ex-wife, Kathleen, has also gone by Kate. However, the senator’s spokesman, Ray Hanania, said Wednesday that since the couple’s divorce, the senator’s ex-wife has been going by his maiden name, Katie Drew, rather than Kate Hastings.
“Senator Hastings’ sister wanted to write something supportive of his work for families and women’s rights,” Hanania told Patch in an email on Wednesday. “As you know, his rivals have weaponized his divorce to try to undermine his election.”
Hanania said that the senator is unable to make any public comments about his divorce as agreed upon in the agreement with his ex-wife.
In the letter, Kate Hastings writes that the Hastings family has been subjected “to some of the most despicable lies and false allegations by the Republican Party. The letter says that Republicans have tried “every political trick in the book” to tarnish Michael Hastings’ reputation in an effort to sway voters away from him in next week’s general election.
Hastings was among two Democrats that Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for to resign in September after Hastings had been accused of putting his former wife in a headlock and repeatedly slamming her head into a door, according to police records. Hastings has denied the allegations and is suing the Village of Frankfort, claiming that the 2021 police report was leaked.
Hastings said he would not resign and called the allegations by his ex-wife baseless and without merit.
Hanania said Wednesday that it was never the intention of the campaign to mislead voters into thinking the letter sent supporting Michael Hastings’ campaign was sent by his ex-wife. He said that the senator issued the letter on social media and in campaign text messages and indicated that the letter was indeed written by his sister, Kate.
“I think the issue is a distraction from the real issues facing voters away from his strong record of delivering important legislation support the district’s needs and standing up for the rights of women,” Hanania told Patch in the email.
The senator’s ex-wife told the Daily Southtown that she had nothing to do with writing the letter and that she — like her ex-husband — cannot publicly comment on their divorce, which was finalized last month, Hanania said.
“That is not my signature,” Kathleen Hastings wrote in text messages, according to the Daily Southtown.
Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie, who, along with Pritzker, has urged the senator to step down, issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the mailing.
“This latest, twisted, last-ditch effort to save his campaign is reprehensible, and his continued presence in the Senate should not be tolerated by anyone in the General Assembly,” McConchie’s statement said.
via Frankfort Patch https://ift.tt/edCEowZ
November 2, 2022 at 11:45AM