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Sandy Smith blames Sandy Roberson for Rocky Mount’s violent crime

Posted on May 8, 2022

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In a series of Saturday tweets, GOP congressional candidate Sandy Smith blasted primary opponent Sandy Roberson for a rash of homicides that led the Rocky Mount City Council to declare a state of emergency. Roberson is mayor of Rocky Mount, but that position has limited authority under the council-manager form of government.

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In a series of Saturday tweets, GOP congressional candidate Sandy Smith blasted primary opponent Sandy Roberson for a rash of homicides that led the Rocky Mount City Council to declare a state of emergency. Roberson is mayor of Rocky Mount, but that position has limited authority under the council-manager form of government.

U.S. House candidate Sandy Smith says Republican primary opponent and Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson is “losing control of his city” while running for Congress.

In a series of Saturday tweets, Smith blasted Roberson for a rash of violent crime that led the Rocky Mount City Council to declare a state of emergency.

“How can that mayor with all those mailers and mud slinging be #AmericaFirst when he isn’t even #RockyMountFirst?” Smith wrote. “All talk and no action!”

Rocky Mount has seen 10 homicides since Jan. 1, including four last week.

RELATED STORY: Rocky Mount declares state of emergency due to gun violence 

“Rocky Mount is the murder capitol of #NC01,” Smith tweeted, with the hashtag serving as a reference to North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. “Get it fixed, #MayorMud!”

Roberson released a cache of opposition research against Smith including allegations that she hit one ex-husband with a frying pan and struck another with an alarm clock and court records showing her then-teenage daughter accused her of physical assault in 2012, though the teen later dismissed a motion for a domestic violence protective order.

RELATED STORY: Sandy Smith denies domestic violence claims in heated GOP congressional primary 

Smith’s tweets imply Roberson has given short shrift to his mayoral duties during the campaign.

“Rocky Mount murders happening all week,” she wrote. “Where is that mayor? Too busy slinging mud and losing control of his city!”

North Carolina cities operate under the council-manager form of government where the mayor serves in a titular role as chief executive but doesn’t directly oversee city agencies such as the police department. Police and fire chiefs, along with other department heads, report to the city manager.

The mayor-council form of government where elected mayors manage a city’s day-to-day operations is more common in the Northeast.

As mayor of Rocky Mount, Roberson leads City Council meetings and represents the city in an often ceremonial role. He likely lacks the authority to curb crime through unilateral action.

During a special meeting on Saturday, Rocky Mount’s council declared a state of emergency and called on police and community members to work together to fight violent crime. Roberson signed the proclamation formally declaring the emergency.

“#MayorMudSlinger of Rocky Mount is NOT a #LawAndOrder guy,” Smith tweeted. “Don’t let him fool you.”

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