Former N.C. Sen. A.B. Swindell and the Democratic Party have taken a responsible, if long overdue, step in apologizing to current N.C. Sen. Buck Newton for false information spread in a 2010 campaign ad.
Newton objected to the content of the advertisement almost as as it soon as it aired two years ago.
The ad linked Newton to a 1990s arrest on drug charges that occurred while Newton was a student at Appalachian State University. But neither the ad nor Swindell acknowledged later court records that showed the charges against Newton had been dismissed because of mistaken identity.
Even after reporters and editors from the Rocky Mount Telegram and other media outlets called Swindell and the Democratic Party’s attention to the information that cleared Newton, the ads continued to run.
Newton won the Senate race and, understandably, filed a lawsuit later. Swindell and the Democratic Party finally have apologized in a statement released to media two weeks ago.
Political campaigns have a long, sordid tradition of stretching the truth to make a point about candidates. Swindell took that tactic to a breaking point.
We’re glad the former senator finally has set the record straight. As a state senator, Swindell served Nash County honorably in the N.C. General Assembly. But here’s no place in politics for the kind of shenanigans played in the 2010 race.