STOCKTON — The election is not only heating up in Stockton, it’s also getting a little dirty.
Incumbent Mayor Anthony Silva’s campaign has sent out mailers portraying his opponent Council member Michael Tubbs.
One shows a picture of opponent Michael Tubbs’ head on a baby’s body. Another features Tubbs’ mugshot from his 2014 DUI.
Lee Neves is a political consultant who has worked on several campaigns. He has also worked as a spokesman in the past for the Stockton Police Officers Association, which has thrown its support behind Tubbs.
However, on Thursday Neves’ shared his opinion independent of the association’s.
“So it’s clear that Silva knows he’s losing and that the only way to kind of fight back is to go negative,” Neves said.
While the mayor’s campaign has been slinging mud, Tubbs’ latest ads have steered clear of calling out his opponent, he mainly focuses on his own achievements while serving the city as a councilman.
“You want to give a contrast and say, ‘I’m going to rise above this.’ Especially in this year, I’m going to rise above it, and I’m going to talk about why we can make Stockton a better place to live,” Neves said.
Neves also pointed out that Silva’s decision to advertise Tubbs’ arrest may be hypocritical.
“He’s being a little edgy about it, and he’s taking a risk, because as much as that has a mugshot, Mayor Silva has a mugshot as well,” he explained.
Silva was arrested in August. He’s accused of supplying teens with alcohol and recording their game of strip poker.
When we asked for comment on his campaign mailers Silva texted:
“It’s election season, people have campaigns. Please report news that people care about. They don’t care about this stuff.”
While Tubbs said in a statement:
“As the First Lady said, when they go low, we go high. I am proud of the positive campaign we have run speaking to issues we all care about with tangible plans on how to improve the quality of life for Stockton residents. It’s the message that propelled our campaign to victory in the June Primary and that has helped us earn the endorsement of the majority of the City Council, our Congressman, Assembly Member, Members of the Board of Supervisors, School Board Members, the Stockton Police Officers Association, the Stockton Firefighters Association, the Stockton Classified Employees Association, the Building Trades, the Labor Council, numerous members of the business community and hundreds of community leaders.
It’s ironic that someone with no record of accomplishment, whose facing child endangerment charges, ongoing FBI investigations, and who has refused to cooperate with the DA about how his gun was used in the murder of a child, would stoop so low. But given his past behavior it’s not surprising, in fact it’s in line with the character he has shown in elected office. These are the actions of a desperate man trying to do anything to hold onto power.
Stockton deserves better. I look forward to continuing to spread our positive message about how together we will Reinvent Stockton.”
Voters will decide for themselves on Nov. 8.
In the June primary, Silva and Tubbs faced off against six other candidates. Tubbs’ had the most votes and Silva came in second.
Because neither had 51 percent of the vote, they’re on the ballot once again in the general election.
Mayor Silva will be on FOX40’s morning show on Monday.