W. Va. Lawmaker Embarasssed by Photos
By LAWRENCE MESSINA
The Associated Press
Wednesday, October 4, 2006; 11:52 AM
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A state senator said he is evaluating whether to continue his bid for a second term after a Charleston television station aired revealing pictures of him last week.
“My family has urged me not to withdraw from the election and I will work with them to make a decision in the immediate future,” State Sen. Randy White, a Webster County Democrat, said in a letter to newspapers in his district.
An apologetic White also wrote that he was “shocked” and “horribly embarrassed” after WCHS-TV aired photos depicting him and at least two other men wearing only body paint.
“The pictures were taken approximately two years ago in private and were stolen from my personal computer,” said White, 51, a married father of three. “I am not sure why they were given to the media, but I must assume for obvious political reasons.”
WCHS said it received the photos anonymously on a compact disc. The various photos, censored by the station, were shown for about 80 seconds during a 5-minute news segment alleging White was the apparent victim of a blackmail plot. The station aired the segment during several newscasts last week.
White did not mention extortion during a brief Monday interview with The Associated Press or in Tuesday’s letter. White wrote that he had been working with his family to overcome a “personal identification situation” and to overcome depression for which he has been treated through medication for over a year.
“I am a religious person and have been for some months praying to God to help my family and me through this tragic and troubling episode in my life,” the letter said.
In its news segment, WCHS said it had reported the disc and its contents to the FBI.
White served three terms in the House of Delegates before winning his seat in the 11th Senate District in 2002.
Republican Harold “Pete” Sigler is challenging White in the November election. Sigler did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment Tuesday.