CHARLESTOWN – An online post demanding a Charlestown mayoral candidate withdraw or be embarrassed publicly is gathering attention.
The public post made by John Rogers was put on Treva Hodges' campaign Facebook page. Though it has since been deleted, a saved screenshot shows it stated, "You have 24 hours to withdraw from the race or I embarrass you in the public eye. Choose wisely.”
The post was created by John Rogers, whom Hodges is familiar with as having posted on her page in the past.
“No, it’s not a threat,” Rogers answered online when asked if that was the intent. “The reason I took it down is because I made my point. Now it’s time for phase two. I was actually giving her a chance to withdraw from the race versus me exposing the truth about Treva. When I send you this information it’s going to send shock waves.”
Hodges called the post a “cowardly act to try to influence the democratic process.”
“It’s the withdraw or else. We’re three weeks out from the election. It’s that part that’s the most insulting to me,” Hodges said. “Every citizen, every candidate should condemn that. That is messing with our right to a fair election. Frankly, it’s disgusting that someone would try to intimidate me to step out of this race at this point or at any point.”
Incumbent mayor and Hodges’ opponent, Bob Hall, was asked if he would publicly condemn the comment.
“I have no idea what’s going on there. I don’t know how I got involved in this Jerry Springer reality show thing,” he said.
Hall later added, “I’m so sick of this drama. I don’t condone extortion with anybody. I’ve never done it … I don’t condone any of that stuff.”
Hodges said she has not reported the post to police as of yet. Det. Jason Broady, with the Charlestown Police Department, said if it is reported, it would be referred to an outside agency, so that the investigation would be impartial.
“You’d have to prove what the intent is [to say a law was broken],” Broady said. “Without having all the facts, you can’t prematurely say this is illegal.”
Broady said if Hodges feels she’s been threatened, she should report it to authorities.
“I think it’s pretty stupid for someone to say that to a candidate. I don’t think anyone wins in that situation,” Broady said of the post. “It’s easier to say something online than directly to them … 25 years ago, you didn’t see stuff like that, because you didn’t have that avenue for people to go and do these things.”
Hall said Rogers is the adult son of one of his employees, but said he doesn’t recall having ever met him.
Hodges said this incident will not stop her.
“I’m not backing down. I’m not going to respond to weak intimidation threats,” Hodges said. “It hasn’t deterred me one bit.”
CLARIFICATION: The John Rogers referenced in the story is not John Albert Rogers Jr., of Jeffersonville, who is a general contractor.