Ad sales rep says TV station fired her over city council run

April 2, 2021 GMT

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — A city council candidate in upstate New York says she was fired from her advertising sales job because she’s running for office.

Amy Horton tells the Watertown Daily Times that her boss at a local television station said there were “some gray areas” about employees running for office and then sent her a text message firing her.

Horton says her boss initially showed support for her run but later told her she’d have to choose between the campaign and her job. She says he fired her last month, the same day she filed nominating petitions with the county elections board.

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Messages seeking comment were left with WWTI/ABC50 general manager David Males and the station’s owner, Nexstar Media Group. Males declined to comment to the Daily Times, saying he doesn’t discuss personnel matters, the newspaper reported Friday.

Horton is among three candidates running for a two-year seat to fill a vacancy on Watertown’s city council. The city, east of Lake Ontario, has about 26,000 residents.

Horton says nothing in the station’s employee handbook indicated she was barred from running for office. She says she didn’t think there was a conflict of interest because she isn’t a journalist and didn’t have an on-air role at the station.