Costa: I’m not out of mayoral race

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 26, 2000

Robert F. Costa says reports of his political demise are greatly exaggerated. Costa, an independent mayoral candidate who faces Democratic nominee F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith in the June 6 general election, said Thursday he has been offered money to drop out of the race but has no plans to do so.

Costa would not identify the people he says asked him to withdraw, but he said he assumed they were related to Smith’s campaign. &uot;He’s the only other candidate in the race,&uot; Costa said.

Smith said Thursday he does not know anything about the allegations and does not believe such a request would come from his campaign.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I don’t allow anything like that in my campaign,&uot; said Smith, who added that no one has ever asked him to withdraw from the race.

Costa said the people he says asked him to drop out of the race offered to cover his campaign expenses but did not offer a specific amount. &uot;They offered me whatever I’ve put into the campaign,&uot; he said.

Costa said he has been asked about &uot;six or seven times&uot; since he joined the mayoral race to drop out. &uot;I feel like it’s nonsense. They can’t control me. I am not beholden to anybody,&uot; said Costa, who added that the people asking were &uot;not unkind about it.&uot;

Costa was the first candidate to qualify officially for the mayoral race. As an independent, he was guaranteed a spot in the general election.

Smith beat incumbent Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown in the May 16 Democratic primary runoff. They had been forced into a runoff by the May 2 primary.

Costa said he has heard rumors that he is getting out of the race. But even if Costa were to drop out of the race, the Democratic party would still have to hold an election, said City Clerk Frances Trosclair.

Donnie Holloway, the Democratic nominee for city clerk, will be an uncontested candidate on the June 6 ballot. Independent clerk candidate JoeAnne Hicks said last weekend she is dropping out of the race.