EVANSTON, WY (WCMH) – A city council candidate in Wyoming is being pressured to drop out of the race after community members discovered her secret online identity.
Deborah Reno is running for Evanston, Wyoming city council. KUTV reports she works as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. She also had a side business under the name Mystee Crockett, selling used panties and gym shorts for $20 each.
After initially saying she was considering dropping out, she is now standing firm and says she will keep running.
In an online post, Reno said, in part:
Yes. I sold panties online. I admit it. That does not make me a weak or bad person. It is a small, tiny part of who I am. Moralistic politics and fake news would have you believe that this is all encompassing, and that an unsavory action makes you an unfit leader.
I believe that divisive, destructive and hurtful behavior shows weak character. These types of tactics are designed to instill fear and shame. They crush the spirit of people.
I tell my yoga ladies, never hurt the heart. The tender heart easily bruises and you can destroy people if you try to hurt their heart. Instead of hurting and embarrassing people, communities would be stronger if we empower people to speak their truth, to be true to who they are, and to let their own unique voices be heard.
I should have known better than to ever enter into the world of politics. It is not for the weak. I am not weak, but I am gentle and kind and loving. These things are not characteristics of a politician. These are characteristics of a healer, a writer, and a person who wants to make the world a better place. That is what I am.
Yes, I should have known that the internet is a big place, and nothing is secret. Yes, I know (because I tell my kids all the time) that you can choose your actions, but you can’t choose your consequences. Yes, I know that people will look at me differently now. Yes, I made a choice that not everyone would make. I chose to run for office.
I cannot quit. I love the town I live in. I love the people who live here, and I have a desire to make this place better than before. People deserve a choice, and people deserve to have leaders who value them exactly where they are. People deserve to be seen for who they are and not crushed because they don’t fit some cookie cutter mold.
When politics stops being hateful and hurtful and destructive, then maybe more kind, caring and compassionate people will lead. Until then, we will continue getting what we’ve always had.
Reno also emphasized her history of service to her small community.
“Whether it’s the little things, like collecting food for the local food bank, offering a free massage to a woman after her last chemo treatment, or donating yoga classes to disenfranchised youth, I want people to feel better in life, because they know me,” Reno wrote.
Reno has since deleted her alter-ego’s accounts.