Gipson-Walker race taking heat over campaign negativity

EMBED </>More Videos

Two Democrats seeking to represent the 64th Assembly District are both taking heat over the negativity of their campaigns.

A local race for the State Assembly is being called the dirtiest campaign in California. A pair of Democrats, Mike Gipson and Prophet Walker, are competing for the open 64th Assembly District seat, and on the eve of the election, both are taking heat over the negativity of their campaigns. The campaign has been dominated by attack ads.

Candidate Mike Gipson, 46, is accused of being a "deadbeat dad." He accuses candidate Prophet Walker, 26, of the same.

But one ad in particular is really stirring the pot: a Photoshopped flier of Walker pictured with a gun.

"You take a picture of myself and then you put a hood over it and then you put a gun in my hand -- it's huge racial undertones," said Walker.

Walker's camp acknowledges that as a youth, he served time for a non-armed assault, but redeemed himself by getting an education and turning his life around. The child support? He couldn't pay while he was incarcerated.

Monday, community supporters, including pastors and Hollywood heavyweight producer Norman Lear, denounced how he is pictured in the flier.

"When you take a man running for office and you Photoshop a hoodie on him and put a gun in his hands, you are violating the trust and faith and fairness of every American voter," said Lear, co-founder of the advocacy group People for the American Way.

Gipson's supporters also include pastors, but Gipson himself did not respond to multiple requests from Eyewitness News for an interview.

Gipson says on his website that the flier produced by a volunteer was "100 percent factual but in retrospect I realize that the volunteer's graphic design went too far."

Gipson blasts the Walker campaign for picturing him as an outlaw because of a child custody dispute that happened 25 years ago.

"This man has raised his child, took custody of his child, raised him from 19 months up, never missed child support -- how could he pay child support? He's raising the child in his care?" said New Jericho Christian Church Rev. Wendell Davis, a Gipson supoorter.

Walker's campaign says it did not pay for the deadbeat dad attack ads, that they were sent by his supporters.

As Election Day draws near, one observer laments the negativity, saying this campaign has become one about people throwing rocks and then hiding their hands.

Related Topics:
politicscampaigncalifornia state assemblyelectionComptonSouth Los Angeles
(Copyright ©2018 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)