Before filing as a candidate, Phillip Price informed party officials of 3 citations for possession of pot and a DUI. He has made no secret of it but lately there have been a series of mischaracterizations of these events in the public discourse. In response to those rumors as well as to direct questions, Phillip offered the statement that follows.

“Message about my past:”

“When I was single, in my twenties, I had 3 misdemeanor citations for simple possession of marijuana for which I received $50 fines. The first was at a music event where I was with a group of people smoking and I was given the ticket. The second was when I tried to grow 6 plants in my yard, and the third was during a traffic stop when a joint was found in my car. On another occasion I also had a citation for an open container (empty beer can) in the back of my car. When I was 29 I took a temporary job in a fireworks tent in Raleigh and I received a ticket for not having a business license displayed on site. At the same time I received a ticket for “illegal” fireworks that were part of the inventory that I was hired to sell. Because these were not my fireworks and this was not my business, these charges were dropped. This was all during my twenties.”

“11 years ago I drank and I drove my truck into a ditch on a country road in the middle of the night. I thank God every day that no one else was on the road that night and so no one was hurt. I thank God every day that my family did not suffer the loss of a husband or father. I attended substance abuse classes and I spent a weekend in jail for this offense, I can tell you that that experience changed my life and I DO NOT drink and drive anymore.”

“Up until 16 months ago, I did not live my life planning on running for public office, much less for Congress. The 2016 election rattled me to the bone and I could no longer sit back and watch our country be destroyed. I have lived in Western North Carolina for most of the last 34 years and this is my home. My parents are buried in Jackson County, so that should tell you where my roots grow deepest. I am married to a Jackson county woman, we have raised our three children here with the help of the NC public school system and the Episcopal Church, and we have built a lumber recycling business from the ground up over 18 years. It is now time for me to give back to the community that has made me the man that I am. My experiences as a younger man have only made me stronger, more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding of the human condition. These understandings have informed my life ever since. I believe that all human beings are worthy of redemption and forgiveness, NO MATTER WHAT.”

“THIS is why I fight for the persecuted. THIS is why I fight for the marginalized. THIS is why I fight for the Middle Class. THIS is why I fight for you. I don’t judge who I fight for.”

“You will undoubtedly hear rumors of much worse offences but they will not be true. Unfortunately one of my ex opponents is spreading a rumor that I have been arrested 30 times! This is not true. My record is public and can be checked by anyone. Beware of internet sites that claim to do background checks. I’m not the only Phillip Price in the district and all records in that name become conflated. I urge you to contact me personally if you or anyone you know have questions about my past. I am happy to discuss this issue with anyone.”

This does not change the endorsement from Transylvania Indivisible. His position that marijuana laws need to be reformed is public and, in our view, rational. Honesty is a characteristic that needs to take root in Washington and we believe Phillip can help plant it. We continue to support his candidacy for US Congress, District 11.