A Michigan newspaper reporter lost her job after she accidentally left a disparaging voicemail for Republican Senate candidate John James.
James, a 37-year-old Iraq war veteran, is running against Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow for her Senate seat.
James has been virtually ignored by the news media, probably because he is a Republican.
Brenda Battel, a staff writer for The Huron Daily Tribune in Michigan, left a voicemail for James requesting an interview.
At the end of her message, Battel thought she hung up the phone but the call was not disconnected. Battel can be heard making disparaging comments about James on the voicemail recording.
“If he beats her… Jesus that would suck,” Battel said. She also said James was “possessed” and she hopes he doesn’t win the Senate race because he’s hard to get ahold of.
The Huron Daily Tribune released a statement on Monday announcing Battel had been terminated.
“I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James’ campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior,” said Kate Hessling, editor of The Huron Daily Tribune.
The newspaper apologized to Mr. James and to the public after the voicemail went viral on social media.
“These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist,” Hessling wrote.
Stabenow is leading in all polls, but James is within striking distance.
Michigan Voters will decide on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Listen to the voicemail below.