RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A little more than a week ago, Democrat Krystal Ball was a little known candidate facing an uphill battle in Virginia's 1st Congressional District. Today- after the revelation of some suggestive photos from a party several years ago, she has been featured on all three national cable news networks and wrote an editorial on the subject in the Huffington Post.
Ms. Ball granted NBC12 the first interview in the wake of those photos being posted; she joins us now live to talk about the race in the 1st District.
Ryan Nobles: Thank you for being here again, Krystal, we appreciate it.
Krystal Ball: Thank you for having me back.
Ryan Nobles: I don't want to spend much time on these photos, but it's definitely an issue out there. Looking back now a week since they were posted, you have done a ton of national media, featured all over the country, in fact internationally. I've seen papers in the United Kingdom written about this. How has it impacted your campaign?
Krystal Ball: I think it's still yet to be seen. My goal in addressing this directly was to get it out there, say my piece on it, and move on. And I feel like we've been able to do that. I feel like we've been treated fairly and so now we're ready to get back to facing constituents in this district.
Ryan Nobles: You think your coverage has been fair? In the beginning you said you thought it was the rule of sexism. Do you think the mainstream media has treated you fairly?
Krystal Ball: I do. The part I objected to was the initial posting of the photos and the way they were portrayed, but we did a lot of interviews. We've issued a very lengthy statement and now we're ready to get back to the issues.
Ryan Nobles: Has it helped you in terms of fundraising at all? Have you seen a bump in your fund raising?
Krystal Ball: We've seen support from around the country, but, you know, it was never -- that was never our goal.
Ryan Nobles: Let's talk about other issues in the race. Aside from the photos, one of the biggest criticisms you've had is your personal financial situation. You said at one point that you were from a family of a sub-$100,000 a year and your financial disclosure report reflected that, but the second report showed your assets in excess of $1-million. Can you clarify that for us and give voters an idea of where you stand financially?
Krystal Ball: It's actually a result of the way the financial disclosures are done. They want you to show the maximum possible interest you have in any company to show a conflict of interest, so you know, we had a dispute that was not resolve at the time that our last disclosure was filed, and we had to put the maximum possible value of that dispute. It was after that settled for much less, but I might put out there that this same story was posted by the same blog that posted the photos.
Ryan Nobles: But there's been other reputable media outlets covering it as well. Would you still describe your personal and family situation as a sub $100,000 a year family?
Krystal Ball: Yeah. We have a small business, successful, and we've been proud to make and I investment ourselves in this race and that's where we stand.
Ryan Nobles: Ok. One of the big problems you've had in this race is that you can't get your opponent, Rob Whitman, the incumbent to face you in a debate face-to-face. You've been going around the district with a cardboard cutout. Why do you think it's important to have a debate?
Krystal Ball: It's not so much important for me. I think it's important for voters in the district to see both of us side by side, engaging back and forth on the issues and flushing out what are our views, where are our differences, what is the choice that's available, and the lack of a willingness to debate to me speaks to sort of a sense of entitlement to the seat, and we just simply want to say, 'This isn't your seat. This seat belongs to voters in the first district of Virginia and they deserve to hear from you and they deserve to hear both sides.'
Ryan Nobles: My last question for you. You've always been pictured with a candidate facing an uphill battle, a long shot. How could you convince voters watching you today that you actually have a chance to win on November 2nd?
Krystal Ball: It comes back to the faith that I have in voters in this district and if I could say one thing to voters in the first district of Virginia, it would be, I come from a business background, work with people from all ends of the political spectrum, all different points of view, and I don't care whether an idea comes from the right or the left or the center. If it's a good idea, I'll vote for it and I'll support it, and I have faith in the voters of this district that is what they want out of their elected representative.
Ryan Nobles: Krystal Ball, thank you for being here.
Krystal Ball: Thanks for having me.
Ryan Nobles: Good luck in the election.
Krystal Ball: Thank you very much.
See the video at right for the full interview.