Henrico political mailer 'fake news?'

Updated: Nov. 1, 2017 at 6:22 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico County Board of Supervisors race is getting ugly. A mailer supporting the Republican candidate used a Facebook post by an account that has been deleted. The Democrats say Facebook deleted it because it's a fake account, made up to help the Republican.

It was sent by the Republican Party of Virginia, not Bob Witte. NBC12 tracked down the woman who allegedly posted this. She said not only does she not have a Facebook page, but she doesn't have a computer!

The real Doreetha Williams didn't want to go on camera with NBC12, but she had no idea why her name was used as a Facebook account. The Facebook account is now deactivated.

"Instantly, the Facebook page looked fake," said Chrystal Doyle, a volunteer with Courtney Lynch's campaign for the Brookland district. "After 2016 and all the junk on Facebook, we can't have deception in our own backyards."

"This is just outlandish, and it truly reminds me of what happened in 2016 how people were manipulating social media and doing deceptive things online. It surprised me," said Lynch.

What's more, the mailer only uses a sentence of her lengthy answer to the issue of the Pulse project. She says that manipulates her stance.

The Republican Party of Virginia sent NBC12 a statement:

The Republican Party of Virginia has sent multiple communications to residents of the Brookland District in Henrico County. One of the mailers, sent independently of Bob Witte's campaign, highlighted a public Facebook comment Courtney Lynch made on her campaign page regarding her support of expanding the Pulse BRT line out to Short Pump. Just like Courtney Lynch, RPV assumed the person asking the question was a real person, so RPV blocked out the individual's name in the mailer.

Courtney Lynch's full response was shortened due to the limited space in the mailer in similar fashion to a recorded speech being broken down into sound bites. Her response is still accurate, she supports expanding the BRT line out to Short Pump.

RPV did not create a fake Facebook account and does not a condone creating fake accounts.

NBC12 reached out to Bob Witte but has not yet heard back for comment.

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