Hongbin Gu, a candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council, says her campaign’s PO box was closed without her authorization, causing some donations to be returned to their senders.
Gu explained the “Mystery of Returned Mail” in a Facebook post, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to cause the incident sabotage. Her campaign had recently received complaints from supporters that their donation mail had been returned. Turns out, someone put a closing note on the mailbox two weeks ago.
Gu says she confirmed with post office personnel that her campaign had not authorized the closing of the mailbox and that all rental fees had been paid.
“Neither the Supervisor Kris Palumbo or the Postmaster Bill Howard knew who put the closing note on our mailbox, how or why, but insisted that no one in the post office would do that intentionally,” she wrote. Gu is awaiting an official letter from the postmaster explaining what happened.
A Chinese immigrant who came to the United States twenty-two years ago to pursue a Ph.D., Gu has already endured criticism online for her background and for emphasizing the value of diversity. She also reports that “hundreds” of her campaign signs had been removed, and some were found in trash bins.
Gu, a researcher in UNC’s Department of Psychiatry, is one of seven candidates vying for four seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council in tomorrow’s election. Her opponents are incumbents Maria Palmer and Ed Harrison and challengers Allen Buansi, Rachel Schaevitz, Karen Stegman, and Carl Schuler.