State Rep. David Stringer is running ads on Facebook to promote his side of the story in the wake of revelations that he faced sex offense charges decades ago in Maryland.
Facebook’s ad archive shows that Stringer’s campaign Facebook page began running ads on Saturday and again on Tuesday featuring online articles in which he presented his response to allegations published on Friday by the Phoenix New Times.
Stringer has yet to speak to any professional media outlets about the allegations.
The first ad features an article from the Arizona Daily Independent, a conservative website, which is headlined, “David Stringer’s false arrest drives empathy for those trapped in unjust system.” The second features an article from Prescott eNews, of which Stringer is part owner, that cites the Daily Independent story.
The initial ad with the Daily Independent story started running on Jan. 17, more than a week before the New Times revealed that the Prescott Republican faced sex-related charges in Baltimore in 1983, which resulted in five years of probation, 208 hours of community service and court-ordered treatment at a clinic for people with sexual disorders. Stringer denied any wrongdoing to the Daily Independent, telling the website that he took a deal rather than risk going to trial.
According to Facebook’s political ad archive, Stringer spent less than $100 on each of the ads. Both have reached less than 5,000 people.
Stringer’s campaign has run several other Facebook ads since his November re-election. In December, Stringer, who is an advocate of criminal justice reform, sponsored an ad praising the First Step Act, a federal justice reform measure that Congress passed in December. Two others urge the construction of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrating Martin Luther King Day.
Prior to the New Times story, Stringer faced calls to resign over several racist comments that became public. Over the summer, he described immigration as “an existential threat” to the country and said there “aren’t enough white kids to go around” in Arizona’s public schools during a speech to a Yavapai County Republican group. Later in the year, he told students at Arizona State University that African-Americans “don’t blend in” and saying students who don’t speak English are a “burden.”