Candidate denies mailing foe's protection petition

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A Republican running for state Senate denies involvement in the anonymous mailing that revealed a 1987 request for an order of protection against his foe.

A spokesman for the campaign of Greg Vital told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the candidate and his staff had nothing to do with mailing the court document that named Todd Gardenhire. Both men are running in the Aug. 2 Republican primary for state Senate District 10, which includes parts of Hamilton and Bradley counties.

Gardenhire publicly accused Vital of being involved and called him a "Pinocchio" because the mailing didn't say his ex-wife quickly dropped the petition.

Gardenhire said voters should doubt his opponent's truthfulness, citing the newspaper's reporting that Vital had falsely claimed to be a college graduate.

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