In an increasingly nasty City Council campaign, District 4 candidate Myrtle Cole has sent a mailer falsely accusing her opponent Dwayne Crenshaw of being mixed up in a drug deal more than 20 years ago.

“It was 3:30am and Dwayne was sitting outside a crack house,” the mailer reads. It goes on to imply that Crenshaw, who was attending San Diego State University at the time, was lying about being there to rescue a friend. It quotes a San Diego police officer saying Crenshaw was making up a story. “Everyone found outside a crack house at 3:30am says they’re there for a friend and not for themselves,” the mailer says, under a banner called “The Truth.”

The mailer is a rehash of a claim the San Diego Union-Tribune thoroughly discredited more than a decade ago when Crenshaw ran unsuccessfully for a council seat. Crenshaw’s opponent at the time, Charles Lewis, sent out a similar mailer. The officer quoted in the mailer, Lawrence Cahill, told the U-T in 2002 that Lewis’ mailer took his comments to San Diego State’s student newspaper about the incident out of context and that he was “very angry” about it.

“That night I saw Dwayne 10 years ago, you could tell he wasn’t into the drugs, he was deeply concerned about his friend,” Cahill told the U-T.

Cahill repeated that version of the incident — that Crenshaw wasn’t there to buy drugs — to VOSD Thursday.

Image courtesy of Crenshaw campaign.

Cole’s campaign, which sent out the mailer, referred comment to consultant Larry Remer, who also was Lewis’ consultant in 2002.

Remer said he pulled out the old mailer and used the incident again. He said he never saw the 2002 U-T story where the police officer quoted disavowed the claim.

“The blowback I heard is when Dwayne held a press conference with everyone holding hands and praying for my soul,” Remer said.

Remer said the mailer doesn’t say that Crenshaw used drugs and simply repeats what was in the student newspaper.

He also said Crenshaw had gone negative first in this campaign.

“You don’t go skunk hunting in a tuxedo,” Remer said. “There’s nothing in the flier that’s wrong.”

“This is politics,” he said.

Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.

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Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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