Travis Democratic Party chair candidate drops out over Facebook posts


Yet another candidate has announced then quickly pulled out of the race for Travis County Democratic Party chair.

Mike Lewis announced in a statement on Facebook on Thursday that he is ending his campaign in light of the publication of a website that highlighted his previous Facebook posts and made a case that Lewis did not support the Democratic Party agenda.

“I am embarrassed and ashamed by several of the statements from my past,” his statement read. “I want to apologize to any of my supporters that I have let down by my careless words and posts.”

When reached by phone, Lewis declined to comment further.

The announcement comes a few weeks after the previous sole candidate, Rick Cofer, dropped out of the race less than a month after deciding to run. Days later, the Statesman reported on inappropriate incidents with women detailed in his Travis County attorney’s office personnel file.

The site featuring Lewis’ old Facebook posts, therealmikelewis.com, alleges that the posts show Lewis “supporting Republicans and segregationists, opposing reasonable gun control, affirming anti-immigrant policy, opposing the Affordable Health Care Act, making light of rape, and more.”

The site does not include an author’s name but includes a note at the bottom that reads: “Pol(itical) Ad(vertisement) Paid Keep Travis County Blue PAC.” No such political action committee is registered with the state or county, however, according to their records.

In one post from 2015, Lewis shared a meme of Bill Cosby that read “I know how to knock out Ronda Rousey” and wrote “#TKO,” an abbreviation for technical knockout. In his statement, Lewis said the post was “beyond distasteful.”

“I believe the allegations against Bill Cosby to be true,” Lewis said. “I am sorry it took me until now to reflect on my own position of privilege and lack of empathy for the victims of rape in that situation. It is never okay to make a rape joke.”

Lewis also acknowledged in the statement that he has not always been a Democrat, as the posts on the website appear to reflect, such as one from 2012 that appears to show Lewis supported GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Other posts show him rejecting gun control.

In an interview with the Statesman last month, Lewis described himself as a former Libertarian, and in a blog post from Oct. 29, Lewis described the forces that led him to become a Democrat.

“It is true that I have not always been a Democrat and in fact only very recently joined the party,” Lewis wrote in Thursday’s statement. “My positions on gun control, the Affordable Care Act, and immigration have all changed in the years since I made many of the posts.”

Lewis described his change of heart as being a “result of greater education and critical questioning.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Damaged evidence, shifty witnesses mark truck-dragging murder trial
Damaged evidence, shifty witnesses mark truck-dragging murder trial

It was a confusing day of testimony as the state presented the meat of its case against Franklin Gebhardt. And that was before the 60-year-old defendant started talking. An interpreter was needed to understand Gebhardt’s garbled, clipped accent, surreptitiously recorded last year in an acoustically poor Spalding County holding cell by convicted...
Grandmother faces charges after leaving kids in hot car, cops say 
Grandmother faces charges after leaving kids in hot car, cops say 

A woman faces reckless conduct charges after she left her two grandchildren in a car in 90-degree weather in a Costco parking lot at Cumberland Mall, according to a Cobb County arrest warrant.  Phyllis Townsend allegedly left the children — a 4-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl — in the car for an hour Wednesday afternoon, the...
Arabia Mountain PATH to close for sewer main installation
Arabia Mountain PATH to close for sewer main installation

Beginning Monday, June 25, the Arabia Mountain PATH trail, from Mile Marker 5.0 at the North Goddard Road crossing to Mile Marker 5.80 at the Flatrock Spur crossing, will be closed to install a new sewer main. Repairs include replacing deteriorated small sewer line with newer and larger pipe. The PATH is scheduled to reopen in early July. As part of...
FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe afternoon thunderstorms expected to envelop Georgia
FRIDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Severe afternoon thunderstorms expected to envelop Georgia

Friday: High: 87 Friday night: Low: 72 Saturday: High: 88 Nasty weather is on the way for Atlanta and North Georgia on Friday afternoon, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said. Most of Middle Georgia and all of North Georgia is at risk of isolated strong thunderstorms, while far northwest Georgia is at the greatest risk for...
Woman, 77, dies in T-bone wreck near Athens
Woman, 77, dies in T-bone wreck near Athens

A 77-year-old woman died in a two-car accident near Athens on Wednesday afternoon, the Georgia State Patrol confirmed. Linda Nell Rasch of Athens was killed after she failed to yield to northbound traffic on U.S. 441 and her car was T-boned by another vehicle, the GSP told AJC.com. Rasch, driving a 2003 Nissan Altima, was traveling west when her vehicle...
More Stories