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March 22, 2013

Businesses point out false claims in candidate’s mailer

NORMAN — With the Norman city election less than two weeks away, the mayor’s race is taking center stage while ward races remain relatively calm.

The heat turned up in the mayoral campaign earlier this month when a mailer by challenger Tom Sherman made claims against incumbent Cindy Rosenthal saying she wanted to sell water to Goldsby, she rejected the Warren Theatre and that she is responsible for the poor state of roads in east Norman.

Research proved that at least two of those claims were false. Owner Bill Warren called The Transcript to verify that he never spoke with Rosenthal or other city officials from Norman about locating here.

If that weren’t colorful enough, David Kempf, also a mayoral candidate, showed up Monday at the Public Safety Candidate Forum with a baseball bat, which was not allowed on the dais, according to observers.

Now, supporters of Mayor Rosenthal are incensed over what they allege is a continued misrepresentation of facts by Sherman.

Sherman’s latest mailer, delivered this week, insinuates that Rosenthal is responsible for the loss of businesses that left Norman and took “tax dollars with them.”

While business may close or relocate for a number of reasons, The Transcript tracked down the reasons behind some of the relocations listed on the mailer. None of them appear to be related to the mayor.

A couple of the business owners expressed that they are upset about being named in a mailer for political purposes.

Sherman vows that his future campaign materials will be positive and will focus on his issues.

“They were just examples to bring attention. I really want to be able to retain locally owned businesses. If we can do something to help keep them here, we should at least try,” Sherman said. “Native Roots was going to go anyway. The question is, is anyone at city hall keeping up with who is going to leave? My issue is trying to retain as many of our local businesses as possible.”

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