PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – FD Rivenbark is facing Republican Carolyn Justice for the 16th district in the state House in the upcoming elections.
Being a county commissioner for over a decade, Rivenbark has had his fair share of tough political battles, but says nothing compares to a voicemail he recently received from a Justice supporter.
"If I can get you out of the Pender County Commission I am going to do it," the voice on the message said. "You're just a lying son of a gun."
Rivenbark says he's received messages in the past, but nothing has been as strong as this one.
"Instead of lying about a woman who cares like Carolyn Justice, you should care about people living in Pender County you hear me," the messaged continued until the caller hangs up.
Rivenbark and his wife Brenda see the message as a threat. Brenda says she's fearful and has been looking around corners, watching to see if people are around her.
After listening to the message, Justice said she didn't find the message threatening but also doesn't approve this type of behavior from her supporters.
"I don't approve of it and don't know the person that called," said Justice. "If I do, then I don't recall knowing him."
Justice agrees the message crosses the line, but says a campaign flyer Rivenbark published stating she voted for the biggest tax increase in Pender County history was also a low blow, because she wasn't even a commissioner at the time. Rivenbark claims the flyer was a typo.
Both candidates say they're trying their best to focus on the issues, despite the mudslinging, and hope their supporters do the same.
WECT called Charles Kirk, the man who left the message on the Rivenbark's machine. He says he is sorry the message came off as a threat and that he was just unhappy. Rivenbark said he is not going to call the police.