Candidate: Woman reporter needs chaperone to cover him | TribLIVE.com
Politics Election

Candidate: Woman reporter needs chaperone to cover him

Associated Press
1397422_web1_1397422-2d3ceb03d7e748cf93ef70777894a88a
In this June 21, 2019 file photograph, Rep. Robert Foster, R-Hernando, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, speaks at the annual Mississippi Press Association Candidates Forum in Biloxi, Miss. Foster recently said he would not let a woman journalist follow him while campaigning unless she was accompanied by a male colleague. Larrison Campbell with the online publication Mississippi Today says she requested to “shadow” Robert Foster to report about his campaign, but his campaign director said Foster would not be alone with her because people could insinuate Foster and Campbell are having an affair. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Republican candidate for Mississippi governor says he would not let a woman journalist follow him while campaigning unless she was accompanied by a male colleague — and now he’s trying to raise campaign money based on that because he says the “liberal media” are attacking him.

“Before our decision to run, my wife and I made a commitment to follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule,’ which is to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage,” the candidate, Robert Foster, said in a fundraising email Wednesday. “I am sorry the liberal media doesn’t share our views, but their attack on us is all the more reason we need a conservative that will protect these values we share.”

Larrison Campbell with the online publication Mississippi Today wrote that she requested to “shadow” Foster to report about his campaign before the Aug. 6 primary, and his campaign director told her Foster wouldn’t ride in a vehicle alone with her because people could insinuate Foster and Campbell are having an affair.

Foster told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he won’t be alone with any woman other than his wife, even while working or campaigning, because of the possible public perception that he was doing something to hurt his marriage. He said being alone with a man is no problem.

Foster said he has hired women to work for the agricultural tourism business that he and his wife run in northern Mississippi, and that he would hire women staffers if he is elected governor. He said, however: “It’s unprofessional to be alone with a woman who’s not my wife.”

Campbell wrote that Mississippi Today rejected Foster’s condition that she bring a male colleague.

“My editor and I agreed the request was sexist and an unnecessary use of resources,” Campbell wrote.

Foster, in response to a question from AP, said he could not ensure that one of his own male campaign staffers would always be with him if Campbell or another woman journalist were to ride along with him to ask questions for reporting.

Foster is a first-term state lawmaker and has raised significantly less money than the other two Republicans seeking the gubernatorial nomination, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.

Attorney General Jim Hood has raised the most money among the eight Democrats running for governor.

The current governor, Republican Phil Bryant, could not seek a third term.

Categories: News | Politics Election
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.