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GOP campaign tells female journalist she can't shadow candidate without male colleague

GOP campaign tells female journalist she can't shadow candidate without male colleague”

Larrison Campbell with the online publication Mississippi Today wrote that she requested to "shadow" Foster to report about his campaign before the August 6 primary, and his campaign director told her Foster wouldn't ride in a vehicle alone with her because people could insinuate Foster and Campbell are having an affair.

A female journalist has had her request to travel alongside a Republican candidate for MS governor denied because she is a woman.

According to Campbell, the decision ultimately stemmed from her gender.

"And that's why we have to be careful", Campbell said campaign manager Colton Robison told her. They repeatedly told her they were anxious about a smear campaign against Foster.

"He reiterated that the campaign couldn't agree unless a male colleague was present - this despite my offering to wear a Mississippi Today press badge in plain view at all times".

"It's all a possibility that the my political opponents could try to exploit something against me if they wanted to, if they feel threatened in the race that they might need an extra bump in the polls or knock me down a few points", said Foster. "But Robison insisted that trackers are trying to get any footage that would make the candidate look bad", she wrote.

Campbell, who has interviewed Mr Foster numerous times, called the decision sexist. He'd follow the "Billy Graham rule" - which, in his words, means avoiding "any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage". "They can't believe, that even in 2019, someone still values their relationship with their wife and upholds their Christian Faith".

"Once again, the liberal left is attacking someone for their integrity, professionalism, and Christian beliefs".

Vice President Mike Pence used a similar excuse back in 2002 when he reportedly told The Hill that he refuses to eat alone with any woman other than his wife.

Campbell said sharing her experiences has prompted mixed reactions - many of them supporting Foster's reaction.

"I don't think this is a MS story", she said.

While she had never before come across a situation like it, she said she has become accustomed to the sexism of working in the male-dominated arena of politics.

"I wish it weren't the way it is", Robison told Campbell. After breaking the story, Campbell said, she has kept an eye on Foster - calling him an "interesting" candidate: a Hernando, Miss., native "running to the right of a very conservative lieutenant governor", but who also holds some more liberal views, like expanding Medicaid coverage.

During the CNN interview with Campbell and Mr Foster on Thursday, the 36-year-old gubernatorial candidate cited his religion and faith, arguing he made a vow to his wife to not be alone with someone of the opposite sex.

"At the end of the day, what you're saying here is a women is a sexual object first and a reporter second", Campbell said in response. "We just want it to be in an appropriate and professional setting that wouldn't provide opportunities for us to be alone".



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