Thorpe admits to misleading email attack on Wright’s votes while attempting to tie him to President Trump

Councilman Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Sean Wright continue their campaign battle.

Claims Wright is “out of touch”…“with Antioch’s values” because of positions on issues his political party has taken, not him; Thorpe admits one attack was incomplete, referring to it as “A small error…”

By Allen Payton

During the continued battle for votes , in an email sent out on Saturday, October 10, Antioch Councilman Lamar Thorpe, a candidate for mayor, attacked Mayor Sean Wright giving misleading statements about two of Wright’s votes on the council, and injected more partisan politics into the race for the non-partisan position.

Following is the portion of Thorpe’s email that includes the attacks on Wright.

Date: October 10, 2020 at 7:39:46 AM PDT

Subject: WOW! Republican Endorsements…
Reply-To: Lamar Thorpe for Mayor! <>

At the bottom of Thorpe’s email it reads, Paid for by Lamar Thorpe, Antioch Mayor 2020  FPPC: 1432877

Thorpe’s email refers to a postcard Wright’s campaign mailed to Democrat voters in Antioch the previous week with endorsements by local, registered Democrats with the words, “Mayor Sean Wright Shares OUR VALUES”.

Front of Wright’s campaign postcard mailed to Democrat voters in Antioch. Photos provided by an Antioch resident who chose to remain anonymous.

Inside of Wright’s postcard mailed to Democrat voters in Antioch.

Thorpe’s email reads about Wright, “WOW!!! Last week TRUMP REPUBLICAN candidates like my opponent Mayor Sean Wright wanted you to believe they were Democrats. They are not. Although I’m not surprised, he did vote against my police reform proposal, voted against housing homeless families, voted against cannabis retailing and manufacturing, and the list goes on.”

Thorpe admits the latter attack on Wright’s votes on cannabis businesses was incomplete, saying it was “A small error on my part.”

While Wright voted against forming the Cannabis Business Overlay Districts on May 22, 2018, then again on June 26, 2018 (see related articles, here and here), he voted for all four cannabis businesses that have applied for permits in Antioch. Wright voted with three other council members in favor of the first cannabis retail store in the city on April 23, 2019, located on W. 10th Street, with only Councilmember Lori Ogorchock opposing. (See related article) Then he, along with the rest of the council members voted for another retail cannabis store on W. 10th Street on June 25, 2019. (See related article) Wright also voted for a cannabis business on Wilbur Avenue which was approved by the city council on Sept. 10, 2019 on a 4-1 vote with only Councilmember Lori Ogorchock opposing. That location includes cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary and delivery. (See related article)

Regarding the police reform proposals, while Wright didn’t support Thorpe’s two-councilmember ad hoc committee on police reform, whose meetings could be held in secret and not required to follow the state’s open meeting laws, Wright supported having all five council members participate in forums on police reform and race relations in Antioch. Thorpe and fellow Councilmember Monica Wilson opposed that, and Thorpe went silent for the remainder of the council meeting when asked for his input and ideas on and who to include in the forums. (See related article)

Earlier this year, Thorpe proposed 13 reforms for the police department, including those that are part of the 8 Can’t Wait national effort, five of which, according to Police Chief T Brooks, that have been or are already being implemented. (See related article) Thorpe’s own press release about it admits two of the 8 Can’t Wait reforms are “already an Antioch policy”. (See related article) In addition, the first of the eight, “Ban police use of chokeholds and strangleholds, including the carotid restraint”, was recently banned statewide by the governor signing into law a bill on the issue.

The attack, while misleading, is accurate because the vote on forming the ad-hoc committee did include Thorpe’s five reform proposals. However, Wright did not support approving any of them before receiving input from the public through the forums.

Thorpe Explains, Admits to Incomplete Information

When asked about his email and why it contained information that was clearly false, Thorpe responded in an email clarifying his accusations.

“Sean did vote against my police reform proposal,” he wrote. “My proposal to establish a police reform ad-hoc (committee) was very clear and specific and was voted down in a 3/2 vote. Following is a quote from my press release, which you have cited on multiple occasions: ‘At the Tuesday, June 9, 2020, Antioch Council meeting, Councilmember Thorpe will call for the formation of a City Council Ad-Hoc Committee on Police Reforms to be composed of council members, legal advisers, police leaders, police union representatives, and community advocates. The role of the committee will be to examine potential long-term reforms in the following areas: 1. Demilitarize our local police 2. Increase police accountability 3. Improved police hiring practices 4. Excessive use of force 5. Budget appropriations.’ Here is the vote:

“On June 18, 2020, the council majority opted for a ‘larger conversation’ that is now called ‘Bridging the Gap’ and seems to be rooted in the idea of police-community relations,” Thorpe explained. “Please note, after almost five months, no larger conversation has taken place because of the bureaucratic process, which we could have bypassed with my police reform proposal to establish an ad-hoc.”

“In terms of cannabis retailing and manufacturing, I’m talking about policy, not applications, Sean did vote against the cannabis policy and zoning overlay. I should have included the word ‘policy’, ‘legislation’, ‘proposal’ or ‘ordinance’ following that phrase. I did use these phrases on my website and campaign material. A small error on my part.”

“Here is the meeting where he voted no and specifically attributed his ‘No’ vote to cannabis retailing:,” Thorpe shared. “The Herald reported about it here:

“Had we moved in the direction Mayor Wright recommended, the council would not have been able to consider the cannabis retail applications that followed,” he stated. “These retailers have resulted in the creation of high wage jobs, over $1 million in new city revenue, thousands of dollars to support local nonprofits like Beat the Streets, and additional revenue for the police department.”

“We were in a rush to get that out and I should have included that information,” Thorpe added about the email message.

Attempts to reach Wright for comment were unsuccessful prior to publication. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

the attachments to this post:

Wright’s mailer to Dems 2

Wright’s mailer to Dems 1

Lamar Thorpe & Sean Wright

Lamar Thorpe’s email attack on Sean Wright

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