Not content with election results, Johnson takes to Facebook to dish out criticism

Published 12:10 am Friday, November 6, 2015

A Salisbury City Council candidate who received 572 votes in the 2015 elections took to Facebook this week to dole out insults about other candidates and the election process.

Immediately following Salisbury’s City Council election, Constance Johnson used her page on the social media site to discredit the results. On Thursday, Johnson followed up her initial posts with criticism of Salisbury City Council candidates and a high school student.

“So a little Jewish candidate tried to lower my power by offering me some cash to pretend to be my sugar daddy, citing that it was personal money,” Johnson wrote Thursday in a public Facebook post. “I took it, beat the crap out of him at the next debate, and he told everybody I stole his car signs and he wanted his money back. I have never stolen anything in my life and never return gifts from cheap men.”

When asked about the post, Johnson confirmed it was about recently elected council candidate David Post. She said “little jewish candidate” isn’t offensive. Johnson said her statement was similar to a person calling her a “tall black woman.”

Post, when asked about Johnson’s statement, said he gave Johnson $75 because she said she needed money for advertising. It was a well-intentioned donation, Post said. Post said he would’ve given money to any candidate.

“Who would’ve thought being well-intentioned would turn into such a mess,” Post said.

Post said the rest of Johnson’s statement is false. During the campaign season, Post placed circular magnets with his campaign logo on the side of his car. Late in the campaign, they went missing, Post said. On the same day the signs went missing, Post said, he visited Johnson’s residence to deliver the $75. He later asked if she had seen the signs.

Johnson, when contacted later, stood her ground about the Post donation. She said it was an unsolicited personal donation and further alleged Post made a similar contribution to recently elected council candidate Kenny Hardin’s campaign.

“It’s not for political reasons. It’s just personal for you,” Johnson recalled Post saying.

Post wasn’t the only target of Johnson’s online criticism. She posted a barrage of thoughts on a number of topics following the election. In another Facebook post, she talked about a Salisbury City Council candidate bicycle ride and added candidates Mark Lewis, Roy Bentley, Karen Alexander, Kenny Hardin and Maggie Blackwell to her list.

“So the Candidates’ bicycle ride was postponed to give us ample time to prepare,” Johnson wrote. “Mark huffed his way through, Bentley pretended he was a Bentley, Maggie kept up with the bicycle acrobat, Hardin drove and met us at the snack table, and here comes Zsa Zsa Alexander who arrived from another private dinner in a shocking blue dress and matching suit jacket talking while bending her knees pretending she’s exercising.”

Johnson also aimed her posts at Salisbury High student Tarik Woods, who organized a council candidate forum. Johnson described how a $10 check for Salisbury High School bounced because she didn’t have any money in her campaign account.

“The check bounced like the romper room green ball on the signs around town,” she said. “Who charges candidates for debates? Tarik Zuckerberg Gates that’s who.”

In the 2015 Salisbury City Council election, Johnson received a total of 572 votes, placing her 12th out of 16 candidates. Her strongest base of support came from Salisbury’s 38th precinct, which is south of Interstate 85 and east of Innes Street. In the 38th precinct, she received 111 votes and finished sixth among all candidates. Johnson didn’t receive more than 80 votes in any other Salisbury precinct.

The voting totals were also a point of contention in her barrage of critical posts.

“These numbers are such a lie that I will tell you for future reference, any voting in North Carolina cannot be seriously considered as counted,” Johnson said. “Say goodbye to Salisbury, NC. I know I am. I suggest you do the same.”

Johnson was endorsed by the Southern Piedmont Labor Council and North Carolina State AFL-CIO. She also received more votes than Livingstone faculty member and pastor Troy Russell, Salisbury businessman Jeff Watkins, computer engineer Roy Bentley and Salisbury resident Stephen Arthur.

Arthur, who finished last in all but two precincts, agreed with Johnson’s description of Salisbury’s voter turnout.

“I know for a fact that my Facebook page had more likes than even Maggie Blackwell,” Arthur wrote.

Continuing, Arthur said he wanted to “demand a recount by hand.” He finished 1,126 votes behind recently elected councilman Hardin, who finished fifth out of 16 candidates to win the final council seat. Arthur’s vote total was 115, while Hardin had 1,241 votes.

Johnson went as far as contemplating whether to demand a completely new election be held.

“I know for a fact that these five were not elected but selected,” Johnson said. “The numbers and endorsements will never calculate to this list of votes. Salisbury is a bought and paid town led by whoever bribes the highest.”

A Rowan County Board of Elections official confirmed the office had not received any formal complaints regarding the Salisbury City Council election. Johnson, however, did request precinct results from the State Board of Elections.

Johnson said she is only looking at the election results for now to ensure they were not manipulated.

Despite defeat, the Salisbury City Council race might not be Johnson’s last bid for political office. She has previously run unsuccessfully for the N.C. Senate’s 34th District, Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education and North Carolina Democratic Party chairperson position. In a final Facebook post on Thursday, she hinted at running for an even higher office.

“So, when you lose the school board, state senate, and city council races, what do you do?” Johnson wrote. “You look around to make sure all your loud mouth enemies are in local and state positions and you prepare for the US House.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.