WILSON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina House member and her husband apologized after he removed her political rival's campaign sticker from a restaurant door and replaced it with hers.
A security camera recorded Republican Rep. Susan Martin of Wilson and her husband dining at a local brewpub Tuesday evening. Multiple media outlets report the footage later shows Dr. Lew Martin peeling Democrat Charlie Pat Farris' sticker off the door and putting one for his wife's campaign in its place.
Lew Martin said Thursday he'd made the switch on the door after taking a frustrating work-related phone call outside the restaurant.
"I'm a bonehead," Lew Martin, an orthopedic surgeon, told WRAL-TV. He added that he was really embarrassed and not a very good example: "Everyone who knows me knows I'm just kind of a passionate guy, so I took the sticker off, put the other sticker on."
Someone had removed a Martin sticker from a door at Brewmasters months ago. Owner Morkos Youssef supports Farris but is friendly with both candidates in the November election.
"He could have just walked right up and stuck it up right there beside it, and nothing would have ever been said about it," Youssef said. "It was silly on his part."
Susan Martin, a second-term lawmaker representing parts of Wilson and Pitt counties, said she didn't know what her husband had done: "He was just being silly. I don't support it. He apologized. I'm embarrassed, and I apologize."
Farris said he planned to complain to the State Board of Elections. Farris' campaign released the footage to the media after Youssef shared it with the campaign.
"I was shocked," Farris told The Wilson Times. "I've tried to keep my campaign on the issues and didn't want it to get sidetracked. The people in our district certainly deserve better. This was just shenanigans."