Rep. Foster denies female reporter from campaign trip

Focused on Politics

Foster is running for Governor of Mississippi

A decision by a Republican candidate for Governor is raising questions.

A journalist says Rep. Robert Foster denied her access to travel with him because she’s a woman.

This is gaining national attention and Foster who is running for Governor of Mississippi maintains in the wake of the #metoo movement he doesn’t want to put himself into a position where the public will speculate if he is seen with a woman alone.

The Desoto Republican said it came down to family and faith when he decided against a female reporter to embed with his campaign.

“Perception is reality in this world especially in politics and there’s also always the possibility that some woman especially with the hashtag #metoo movement going on now to claim that I’ve tried to do something to her that I did not,” he said.

Mississippi Today’s politics reporter Larrison Campbell says she does not buy it.

“If you see her as a woman first and as somebody who is doing their job second a woman is by nature in your opinion what you’re saying is a woman is first and foremost a sexual creature,” she said. “That’s what they were doing I was doing my job they sexualized me.”

Campbell’s has a history of news coverage of Rep. Robert Foster in the capitol and his campaign for almost a year.

She broke news of his candidacy for governor and the story about political insiders offering Foster a large amount of money to not run for governor.

“I don’t think he is unhappy with our coverage before I think he is a viable candidate as we treat him as such this is an instance where somebody said to me you cannot do your job the way your male colleague has been doing your job based solely on the fact that you’re a woman,” said Campbell.

Foster says he’s looking out for his reputation.

“I don’t want to put my family through that it’s more important that I put my faith and my family before you know the feelings of some other individual,” he said. “I think the big thing that they need to realize here is I’m not the one that asked for this interview they asked me for the interview.”

He said a male colleague had to join Campbell for the campaign shadow.

Campbell says it’s a sexist double standard

“If a man is talking to another man it’s probably about work but if a woman is seen there up close with a man well it’s first– it’s romantic and then you have to prove that it’s work related— I mean that’s, it’s bogus,” she said.

Foster adds, Mississippi Today can shadow his campaign, but they must work out the logistics.

Other Mississippi Today reporters have shadowed candidates for governor including Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Ret. Chief justice Bill Waller as part of their governors race coverage.

Click here to read Larrison Campbell’s full story on Mississippitoday.org

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