Nevertheless She Persisted.
Just prior to the hearing in Dauphin County Courtroom #2, Carrie Fowler was prepared to defend her petitions in a bid for School Board Director. While seated with her campaign chair before the proceedings, Richard Soto directly approached, and then awkwardly hovered over Fowler as he struck up small talk with a man sitting next to her.
Although this move was perceived to be intentionally targeted towards Fowler, she held strong and later claimed that she did not feel uncomfortable by Soto’s presence, and attributed his behavior to being an intimidation tactic.
In fact, Fowler’s take on the entire purpose of this court hearing was Soto’s “desperate attempt to intimidate and bully a female candidate off the ballot.” This has relied up her base and it is clear that Fowler has a great support system of folks who stand behind her efforts.
After hearing the arguments today, Judge Evans did not rule in favor of Soto’s challenge, and in the words of Fowler, he “made it perfectly clear such tactics will not be successful.”
Represented by McNelly & Goldstein, LLC, Richard Soto appeared in Dauphin County Court to challenge the petitions of School Board Candidate Carrie Fowler, in a motion that disregarded advise from the Dauphin County Board of Elections. Unfortunately, many will point to his checkered history and recent allegations of sexual harassment, however Soto has done a lot of work with the children of Harrisburg. From a past interview, when speaking in his own defense, Soto said: “How many times do I need to keep paying for the same thing over and over again? It’s not fair.”
Fowler sees the demeanor of Soto in a different light and says “This behavior is not becoming of an elected official charged with protecting children.” She continues “I would encourage Mr. Sotos to start making his case to Harrisburg voters as to why he’s the best candidate for the job…rather than attempting to “win an election by eliminating the competition.”
Some of Fowler’s supporters have expressed thanks to Soto for provideing her with fresh campaign ammunition.
Others question if Mr. Soto is legally able to fill the school board post that he is campaigning for.
Exclusively for Harrisburg100: The following statement has been issued by Carrie Fowler
“I do sympathize with Mr. Soto and feel his past should not follow him anymore. He paid his debt to society and he should be able to start a new life and give back to his community. BUT he must first change the laws in PA to overturn the ruling that a person with a felony can not serve. If he were to use his efforts to organize a coalition or join other organizations to make these changes, I would stand in solidarity with him!! I would march. lobby and demand change in front of the legislators who do not want to change them.(as I have many many many times in the past) If Mr. Soto was a repeat offender because of addiction.. I stand with him in solidarity that because of his skin color he was not offered the same criminal justice system that a “white affluent” person was given and that is WRONG!( I have advocated for this change as well) I would also support him in his attempts to bring this injustice front and center. I am a Social Worker and I fight for the injustices in this world. My thoughts are Mr. Soto should be fighting the fights he is able to fight.. serving on school board is not an option given his record. I hope that someday soon we can change the laws that prohibit him from doing it.”