The mayoral race in the Fort Worth suburb of Forest Hill is getting nasty. Someone sent letters to homes all over the community this week accusing one candidate of racism. But the letter itself is sparking new accusations of racism because of some offensive language.
"I'd rather take care of business today than wait tomorrow for it to become a bigger problem," Stephanie Boardingham told a prospective voter outside the Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center.
Boardingham is running for mayor of Forest Hill.
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"Because I felt like our city needed different leadership," Boardingham said.
The current city council member is hoping to move in a new direction.
"I have fought every day for our citizens," she said.
But she never expected this reaction.
"I received this letter in the mail," said city council candidate Michielle Benson, opening up one example of a letter that was delivered all over town.
It accuses Boardingham of racism and shows a photo of her with a black man, with his face painted as The Cat in the Hat. It reads in part: "This is a racial stereotype for the happy-go-lucky **expletive** on the plantation."
Boardingham said the man dressed as The Cat in the Hat is a friend who helped start a popular community literacy campaign.
"He is an elementary teacher and he specializes in children's literacy," Boardingham said. "So I was really surprised that someone would take that and turn it into that just in order to try to ruin my image."
Benson thinks the letter itself holds the true racist message.
"When I see this kind of racist rhetoric that's being implanted into our community, it's like somebody is trying to incite something that doesn't exist," Benson said.
It's signed by ‘United Citizens Against Racism’ but that group doesn't seem to exist.
"I've never seen that in our community before, we're very diverse, we pride ourselves on being diverse," Boardingham said, noting that she is married to an African American man. "This just makes me fight even harder to protect our community so that we can flourish."
Boardingham filed a police report and she's asking the Postmaster General for an investigation to try and find out who wrote the letter.