Derrick Smith was removed from the state legislature after his indictment on federal bribery charges. But Smith won the March primary and remains on the November ballot in the 10th legislative District.
Smith's website suggests he is endorsed by Democrat Jesse White, but that's not the case. White is the most prolific vote getter in the state right now and he is livid that Smith is using the secretary of state's good name on the Internet.
On his campaign website, which does not mention Smith's bribery indictment or his ouster from the legislature, the Democratic candidate claims to be "still fighting for the 10th district". And under the headline "endorsements," Smith writes: "Your endorsement as well as endorsements from individuals that have mentored me, like secretary of state jesse white, let me know that I am doing the work residents of the 10th district expect of me."
"It's a violation of human decency for a gentleman to use my name to indicate that I have endorsed him," said White.
Secretary White, who did mentor Smith in the past, actually has led the political effort against Smith.
"I demand that he apologize to me, number one, for using my name in this manner and number two, for embarrassing this organization with this silly nonsense," said White.
The feds accused Smith with taking a $7,000 bribe to write a letter on behalf of fictitious day center seeking a state grant. He was ousted from the legislature last month but because he won his March primary, his name still appears on the November ballot as the official Democratic candidate.
"It's just another example of his lapse of ethical judgment," said Lance Tyson.
Tyson, the independent candidate endorsed by Secretary White, has issued campaign literature accusing his indicted opponent of running "criminal enterprises."
"In order for someone like that to have been caught you have to assume that it had happened before. I think that's a fair assumption which lays the foundation for enterprise," said Tyson.
Derrick Smith is awaiting a federal trial and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Mr. Smith did not respond to repeated calls to the phone number listed on his campaign literature.