Campaign mailer from Rep. Robert Goforth’s wife causes controversy

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:45 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A mailer received by some people in southern Kentucky is creating some controversy in a state House race.

Some people say they’re troubled by a letter that appears to be from the wife of a state House candidate who is accused of strangling her.

Robert Goforth is running against Mike Van Winkle in the 89th District House race. Goforth was indicted for strangling his wife, and now some people in the area have received letters that appear to be hand-written from her, asking for support.

The letters appear to be hand-written and are personally addressed to the recipient. But a political action committee, Kentucky For Strong Families, sent out a news release saying it’s a “shameful and manipulative move” by Goforth to ask people to support the man accused of attacking his wife, written in such a way to read it’s from his wife.

It comes two weeks after Ashley Goforth issued a statement saying she never wanted him criminally charged.

Goforth’s opponent says people in his county are troubled by the letter.

“In my opinion it’s disturbing,” Van Winkle said. “Given the fact that it’s national domestic violence awareness month. And this goes out. It’s very deceptive because this should have on it a ‘paid for by.’”

WKYT tried repeatedly to reach Robert Goforth, sending emails, calling his phone, and leaving Facebook messages, but none were returned. Calls to the Kentucky Republican Party were not returned. The chair of the Laurel County Republican Party said he had not seen the letter and could not comment.

Goforth is due in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing following his indictment on the charges.

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