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Council candidate Howes offers free pizza for controversial campaign mailer

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 31, 2017

City Council candidate Matthew Howes has promised free pizza to anyone with a copy of a mailer he called “slanderous and uncalled for” questioning his restaurant’s health code record. (Matthew Howes for Spokane City Council District 3 / Facebook)
City Council candidate Matthew Howes has promised free pizza to anyone with a copy of a mailer he called “slanderous and uncalled for” questioning his restaurant’s health code record. (Matthew Howes for Spokane City Council District 3 / Facebook)

The Spokane City Council candidate targeted by a controversial mailer questioning his pizza restaurant’s health code record is answering with a slice of humor.

Matthew Howes, owner of Adelo’s Pizza, Pasta & Pints in northwest Spokane, is offering a free personal pan pizza to anyone who walks in the door with a copy of the political ad. Put out by a political action committee supporting Howes’ opponent, Candace Mumm, the communication was panned by the Spokane Regional Health District as inconsistent with their inspection records for the pizzeria and craft brewpub.

“I had to do something,” Howes said Tuesday. “I’m more the type of guy to try to make everything the best possible.”

A post on the Howes campaign Facebook page urges visitors to “Bring in a Lie and Get a Personal Pie.” The mailer, which Howes called “slanderous and uncalled-for,” stated the pizzeria had been the subject of a couple dozen health code violations between 2005 and 2015. Records from the health district show Howes didn’t own the restaurant until 2009, however the restaurant was dinged for infractions that included unsatisfactory cold storage of food and repeated buildup of ice in an ice dispenser over the past nine years, according to records provided by the health district.

Those issues were resolved quickly, health officials noted.

Both Mumm and the political action committee said Mumm was not involved in the preparation of the mailer. A day after the health district reported its concerns about the mailer, including unauthorized use of its logo, the local firefighters union pulled its support of the committee behind the ad in an announcement on Twitter.

Howes is supported by the political action committee arm of the nonprofit Better Spokane, a group that has earned the attention of City Council President Ben Stuckart in his effort to establish local campaign finance reporting requirements. The Better Spokane group reported it had spent a little more than $13,000 to support Howes’ campaign in a report filed Thursday.

Howes said the promotion will run through Election Day, which is Nov. 7.

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