“I’m outraged by it. This is gutter politics. This is dirty
politics,” Sarantou said at a press conference. “It has no place
in a campaign and I want this to stop.”
“It’s terrible. I don’t know whether he did it or not,” said
Copeland. “But to let it get to that point, the lying—that’s the
main thing. To tell a lie like that, it’s sad.”
Sarantou stated he had received the postcard in the mail himself
and immediately sought to find out who was behind the
black-and-white postcard that contains no political disclaimer,
no address, and no organization or affiliation as required by
“This postcard did not come from anyone with my campaign for
county recorder. That includes the Lucas County Republican Party
leadership, who I immediately questioned about this postcard and
like me have no idea of the origin,” Sarantou said.
The postcard reads, in part: “Phil Copeland Lied...He doesn't
even have a GED. He hasn't even graduated from high school but
he wants to be Lucas County Recorder?” The card then encourages
the recipient to call local media outlets about the claim. The
GOP councilman stated he’s greatly disturbed by what he called
“an October surprise.”
“Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all know that I am a
person of integrity and this post card stunt is not the way I
campaign,” Sarantou said in a prepared statement.
“Therefore, I am asking the unidentified person, individuals, or
organization behind this post card to stop this action now. The
last thing the voting public wants now is more mudslinging by
candidates vying for any office.”
The two city councilmen are vying to replace Democrat
Jeanine Perry as county recorder, because she is not
seeking re-election. Both men are
barred by term limits from running for
council again next year. Sarantou, 60, is a longtime private
financial advisor, while Copeland, 67, is the business
manager for the Laborers Local #500 union.
Copeland, though, doesn’t buy Sarantou’s claim, alleging his
opponent has been “bringing stuff up,” such as his lack of
attendance at city council meetings.
This is not the first time Sarantou has unwittingly found
himself mired in political controversy. During a race for
Lucas County commissioner two years ago, Sarantou and
eventual winner Carol Contrada, a Democrat, went to
court over how provisional ballots were counted.
Sarantou originally thought he had won the election, then
lost, when the provisional ballots were added. He sued the
board of elections, but after weeks of legal maneuvering,
dropped the court issue after deciding it would serve no
productive purpose to continue.