LEBANON, Missouri- On Sunday, the mayor addressed some  apparent unpleasantness  in the Ward 4 Council race between incumbent Bob Garner and and challenger Wendy Abdulai. Although not mentioned in the mayor’s statement, there has been an image circulating through social media over the past weekend apparently showing Abdulai not rising for the pledge of allegiance during a meeting. This has generated  some comment and discussion.

Lebanon Mayor Josh Ray

“Over the past few days, I’ve read some vile things from people concerning the election battle between Councilman Bob Garner and his opponent, Wendy Abdulai. As someone who had his fair share of insults sent his way last year during my campaign, I sympathize with both people. In fact, some of the same people that dogged me about my fondness for comic books or my supposed allegiances are doing the same thing right this very moment for this election with different candidates. Bob Garner and Wendy Abdulai are two of the nicest people I know, and I am utterly disappointed in those in this town who desire to pit them personally against each other.

This is Lebanon, MO. We can think differently and we can have different perspectives. Personal attacks have no place in our elections. Ask people about my campaign. When supporters got personal, I admonished them.

I told you all a year ago that it was “Lebanon first, politics never.” I mean it.

Remember, the candidates have family and friends here locally. You aren’t just attacking and hurting one Lebanon citizen, but their entire extended family. As Mayor of our great town, I will not accept that behavior.

I promise you all that I will work with anyone elected by our community.

God bless Mr. Garner, Mrs. Abdulai, and their families, ” the mayor said.

Wendy Abdulai, Facebook

On Saturday,  Abdulai posted the following:

“I’ve been reading some really nasty things about myself online. Some of the things, I didn’t even know about myself. While that’s probably a huge ‘no-no’, I realize it’s all part of politics.

I am so overwhelmed by the outpouring of support! You guys have worked your asses off and for that, I thank you!!

What we need to remember is there will always be people who are just ugly on the inside. They will always talk about other people badly and rarely see the good in anything or anyone.

Those are not our people!

We don’t take what they say seriously and people who know them usually don’t either. The upside, we’re taking the heat off someone else for a minute.

Win or lose this election, we have won in life.

We have fun!

We work hard!

We learn as we go!

We meet amazing people!

And…we’ve already completed two of the goals, (1) the people have been given a choice and (2) people are getting engaged and talking about issues that matter.

We are not quitters and when this is over, we can celebrate our new found friendships, our efforts and the positive, hard work we put forth, against all odds!

With only a few days left, let’s shake off the haters, put our game faces on and get out there and do what we do best, talk to the citizens and find out what concerns they have! It’s never been about “me” and that’s not going to change.

Love, peace and chicken grease!”

The polls open Tuesday morning, April 4th in Laclede County.