SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A city council candidate in Evanston, Wyoming, is dealing with blow back after community members discovered what she thought was her secret identity online.
Candidate Deborah Reno, who works as a massage therapist and yoga instructor, worked on a side hustle under the name Mystee Crockett. She’s seen stripteasing in videos and has an online storefront that caters to “used panty buyers.” She’s also sold “dirty gym shorts” for $20 plus shipping.
Reno said she’s been on the website for about a year.
“We also talked when I decided to run for city council about possible ramifications if that were to be discovered by the community,” she said.
Reno faces Mikal Welling for a city council seat in the November election. The winner will replace Wendy Schuler, who will soon become a state senator.
Schuler said she was shocked, surprised and disappointed to learn of the news.
“I’m not really sure that she would be electable at this point,” Schuler said. “You know, this is a small town, and news gets around pretty fast.”
“...this is very unfortunate,” Welling said in a statement to 2News, “and so against my own personal moral code and standards.”
Reno said the venture started as an “interesting experience” but now calls it “an error in judgment” that overshadows her service to the community. She received the second-highest number of votes in the primary featuring five candidates.
“There isn’t really any amount of money that would be worth what this is going to do to my family,” Reno said.
She said she has deleted all accounts associated with her racier identity.
“It doesn’t change the nature of who I am,” Reno said, “but when people know your deepest, darkest secrets, they tend to look at you quite differently.”
The candidate said she isn’t sure if she’ll stay in the race now that this is out there. If she drops out, Welling will take the seat.
“If you want to run for public office, probably not a good idea,” Reno said, adding, “If their decision to vote for me or not vote for me has changed, I get that.”
Evanston is a city of fewer than 13,000 people in southwestern Wyoming. It’s about 80 miles northeast of Salt Lake City.
Reno's opponent's full statement is as follows:
“I was made aware of this late yesterday afternoon and think this is very unfortunate and so against my own personal moral code and standards. I have not confirmed nor do I plan on confirming these allegations against my opponent. I am going to continue to focus on the issues that are facing this great city and running my campaign to be elected to the city Council of Evanston.”