Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOP Hopeful Pleads to President

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOP Hopeful Pleads to President

Article excerpt

Claiming that her life, reputation and livelihood have been threatened by members of her own political party, Republican congressional candidate Ishah Wright sought help last week from President Bush.

"Mr. President, I ask you to find out the specific group of people in the Republican Party who are behind the threats and harassment towards me, and I want this to end," she wrote in the letter Wednesday.

Wright, a self-described millionaire, is not being supported by the Duval Republican Party in her challenge to Democratic U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown. Party officials said Brown is unbeatable in her district, and they want to avoid driving up turnout among Brown's fiercely loyal Democratic base.

In her letter to Bush, Wright said she has documented the threats with "tapes, e-mail, photos and my journal" and that the evidence has been "stored with anonymous people and in a safety deposit box, should something happen to me as a result of these threats by the Republican Party."

Wright said she sent copies of the letter to the FBI, the attorney general, local police and Gov. Jeb Bush.

"I was told the Republican Party is 'the same concept as the mob,' and I was asked if I want to end up like Chandra Levy, with my head severed from my body," Wright wrote to the president. "Also, people appearing to be private investigators working for the Republican Party follow me wherever I go just to harass me."

Party officials denied making or orchestrating any threats against Wright and dismissed her claim that Democrats and Republicans had made a deal to protect both Brown and Republican U.S. Rep. Ric Keller.

"I don't know how firm her grasp is on reality," said Towson Fraser, spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida. "The Republican Party would obviously never threaten anyone or make a deal like she's talking about."

Duval GOP Chairman Tom Slade further distanced the party from Wright last week following a Times-Union report that Wright's Internet sites were peppered with exaggerations and half-truths about her background. …

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