Politics

Candidate Betty Jean Alexander on Media Interest: 'It's Not That Serious, People'


August 11, 2018, 8:11 PM

The stealth state Senate primary winner from Detroit surfaces Saturday and talks about her surprising win Tuesday, knocking off a surbanite who has been in the legislature since 2013.

Betty Jean Alexander's first published interview is with Violet Ikonomova, who joined Metro Times last year after six years as a broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C.


The scoop at Metro Times, with Violet Ikonomova's photo of her interview subject.

The so-called "mystery candidate" talks about her political mentor, brother-in-law LaMar Lemmons (who was present), about her reasons for wanting to serve and about media behavior this week -- with particular derision for Fox 2 News.

"There should be more people like me actually at the table, instead of all these political people who are corrupt and not helping the people," says the 52-year-old single mother of two in her extensive MT interview Saturday. "I want to be for the people."

"There needs to be somebody like me stating how a real person is struggling, trying to make ends meet. . . .

"I want people to have clean and affordable water, no one should be able to have their water shut off. You know, that’s a right, you should have a right to water."

The Democratic incumbent who's bumped is freshman Sen. David Knezez of Dearborn Heights, a former Marine seargent who served two duty tours in Iraq. He won his seat in 2014 after a two-year state House term.

Alexander sounds bemused by this week's flurry of news media and social attention. "They even have a Facebook [meme] now like ‘Who is Betty Jean Alexander?’" she says, apparently referring to this Twitter hashtag.

"After I won on Tuesday, Wednesday, I'm sitting at work and all of a sudden my phone is blowing up -- calls, texts, emails coming through. . . .

"Someone even came yesterday evening, and I saw their little badges. They had a camera, and I was like I'm not going to the door. . . . Then they went to the neighbors. I watched them do a little circle, they went to that neighbor, they went to there, and I'm like, 'It's not that serious, people.'"


Hillary Goldston "knew I wasn't home! And that was just so irritating." (From Fox 2 News video)

She's especially annoyed by Fox 2 reporter Hillary Goldston, hired by the local station last September. The candidate describes contacts for this Friday newscast coverage:

"Fox 2 [has] been coming to my house, going to the neighbor's house, asking have they seen me, do I live here?

"What really bothered me was Friday. I was at work and I got a text from [Goldston] and she tells me can we have a quick interview? I text her back I said I'm at work, I cannot get these type of interruptions at work and to refer all her questions to [LaMar].

"Then I get another one — 'Can I get a quick sound bite?' Again: 'Unfortunately I'm at work, I cannot do this.'

"Then about 30 to 45 minutes later, my daughter calls me and says: 'Fox 2 is outside! Some lady wearing a yellow dress.'

"So I text [the reporter] back: 'Are you at my house?' And she says 'Yes.' I say: 'You knew 30-45 minutes ago I was not home.' And she knew I wasn’t home. . . . And then I get home and I see [her story on] the news and she’s knocking, 'Betty Alexander are you home, Betty Alexander are you home?’ And she knew I wasn't home! And that was just so irritating."

Ikonomova's scoop, with a Q&A-style excerpts on eight topics, is worth seeing in full.

-- Alan Stamm

Earlier coverage:

A Primary Puzzle: Who Is Betty Jean Alexander, Stealth State Senate Nominee?, Aug. 8

Read more:  Metro Times


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