Campaign signs are being posted inside a government building. The flyers are in support of an incumbent, but are they violating campaign rules? According to the Hamilton County Election Commission- they are.
The posters are titled "Re-elect Gwen Tidwell" Underneath that heading, a list of lawyers who reportedly support her campaign urging voters to re-elect Tidwell as thier criminal court clerk. Only problem is that the sign is posted in a government building just yards away from Tidwell's office.
The Election Commission's Chief Deputy explained there's no explicit rule in the county's handbook forbidding signs in the courthouse, but that's only because it's considered to be "understood." We went by the criminal court clerk's office to ask Tidwell if she knew who posted the signs. We were told she was out to lunch. But, one person available was her Republican Challenger Vince Dean.
"Privately, I've had some of the same attorneys that signed that letter say that they are supporting me. Naturally they don't want to upset the apple cart and go against the incumbent publicly," says Dean. Dean doesn't think Tidwell posted the signs herself, but he does believe she's aware. And, it turns out, he was right about part of that.
Just an hour ago, Tidwell called us back to share her side of the story. "I saw I think one of the first floor and one on the second floor by the elevators and I asked one of the staff members at that time to go all around the building and take them down," says Tidwell.
While Tidwell says she didn't post them, Dean says the only thing that matters is whether she knew they were in the building and did nothing about it.
The chief deputy with the Hamilton County Election Commission tells us that she has contacted Tennessee's state department and notified of the situation. We're told they will get back to us with their findings.
by Mikaya Thurmond