Voters React to Owensboro Mayoral Candidate Arrest

Local

One of five candidates for mayor of Owensboro, in the news, but not for his stance on important issues.

Neil Johnston is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning for 3rd degree criminal trespassing. It has both city and non-city residents talking.

What happened at Big O Music Festival last weekend may have implications at the ballot box in less than three months.

“I was really surprised, especially since he was running for mayor,” says Jean Ann Stanley, who knew neil johnston when he played baseball with her son as a kid.

“Very polite. Very competitive,” she describes, adding said she was surprised upon hearing of his arrest.

“The good thing is he admitted he made a poor choice, and hopefully, he’ll learn from that poor choice and make use of some better decision making from here on out,” says Stanley.

Sheriffs deputies say Johnston was asked to leave reid’s orchard and not allowed to return. He was driven to his mother’s home, but came back, and was spotted by deputies. In a Facebook post, Johnston claims an unnamed woman told security he was trying to go through a VIP entrance several times, but he claims she lied about it. He also claimed he went back to give unused tickets to a friend.

“My first reaction was it bothered me. I felt like it was a political move from someone else to incriminate him. Then the other part of me felt if he did this, he needs to be corrected,” says Martha Harris of Owenesboro.

Johnston also said he never tried to bribe anyone or try to sneak in while at the festival. Some voters feel it’s blown out of proportion.

“it’s just kind of, like, O.K., let’s just move on. I don’t really understand why that was really such an important issue,” says Harris.

We reached out to Johnston for further comment, but he declined our request at this time.

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