Loveland's mayoral race heats up after candidate's shared meme comes back to haunt him

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 21:52:03-04

LOVELAND, Colo. -- Things are heating up in Loveland after a controversial email from an elected official and mayoral candidate resurfaced.

A year ago, Mayor Pro Tem John Fogle forwarded a picture of then-candidate Donald Trump shaking hands with former President Barack Obama that included a line a line that reads “Actual photo of Donald Trump grabbing a p---y,” a reference to the Billy Bush tape that captured a recording of Trump making lewd comments about grabbing women.

Fogle is running for the mayor seat and the email resurfaced a month before re-election. 

The email had been forwarded on from Frogle, but resurfaced this week when former Loveland City Council candidate Howard Dotson forwarded the email to Loveland City Council, according to documents made public.

A year ago, it landed in City councilman Troy Krenning’s personal email from  Fogle’s personal email.

“Politically it was terribly insensitive. It had sexual overtones. It had racial overtones, and it was the last damn thing I wanted in my inbox as a locally elected official,” said Krenning.

Krenning responded via his city email account to bring it to city council’s attention.

“You sent a terribly stupid, obscene and vulgar email to me and other members of the city council,” it read in part.

He followed up by asking Fogle to step down and resign, but that didn’t happen. Fogle says the majority of city council members, including the mayor, did not feel it needed to be addressed on the agenda at a meeting. 

Denver7 placed a call to Mayor Cecil Gutierrez for comment but has not heard back.

“I wanted him to explain why he thought as a local politician elected by citizens of Loveland, that that was acceptable conduct. It’s not," said Krenning.

Fogle was not available for an in-person interview but sent Denver7 a statement saying, in part, his behavior was inappropriate and apologized to all of his colleagues.

"A year ago, I forwarded an inappropriate email to several of my colleagues. It should not have happened. At the time, I apologized to every one of my colleagues, including several in person, and pledged to never repeat this inappropriate behavior."

In other emails now public, he admitted to getting caught up in the political rhetoric during the “Big election.”

It’s now partly why Fogle’s opponent Jackie Marsh is running.

“It’s demeaning to women, and it’s an insult to Obama. And most Democrats think Obama did a pretty good job,” said Marsh. “I think that there should have been a public slap on the hands by our city council. It should have been made public. That is not acceptable behavior.”

It’s hard not to believe there isn’t political motivation that this email is resurfacing a month before Election Day, but the issues remain relevant to many people in Loveland.

Currently, the City of Loveland allows access to all city emails through a public server, although a constituent or elected official, for example, can request or mark emails private under certain exceptions.

Krenning had chosen to keep the city email chains private because the council did not decide to move forward with Fogle’s email. They were eventually made public through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request.