Former Tennessee state Democratic Rep. Justin Pearson is facing criticism from conservatives for altering his voice and mannerisms while speaking publicly, which was made evident in unearthed footage from an election he took part in nearly a decade ago at Maine’s Bowdoin College.
A college campaign ad for Pearson’s successful bid for president of Bowdoin Student Government in 2016 showed a more casual Pearson who pushed for unity and understanding among his peers.
“I’m Justin J. Pearson, and I’m running for president of BSG,” Pearson said in the school campaign ad. “There are a few reasons why we’re running this campaign this year. One has to do with representation … How can we represent all voices in a conversation?”
Pearson said his efforts were meant to garner responses from both Democrats and Republicans on campus at the time.
“I wanna bring together different voices — dissenting voices, voices that may be more liberal or more conservative — in order that we can reach a point of, sort of, the radical middle,” he said in the campaign video.