West University mayoral candidate under fire for comments about current mayor

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On a perfect Spring day, voters trickle in to vote early at West University Place City Hall. But make no mistake, a storm is raging in this quiet bedroom community.

“I thought we were past this,” incumbent mayor Susan Sample said.

The tax attorney and mother of two is seeking her second term as part-time mayor.

“It is a working person's job because that's who we represent. We have a city manager form of government and they expect people who have full-time jobs to represent the city,” Sample said.

At a candidate's forum on April 18, a challenger took aim at her. Sonny Brandtner said in his opening statement, "Susan has two toddlers. Susan is a tax attorney at one of the largest companies in the world. I believe Susan has too much on her plate.  I believe it's effecting her performance as mayor of this wonderful city of mine."

His comments might've been quickly forgotten if not for Facebook.. One of those who posted about it was realtor Heidi Dugan.

“In 2017 for someone to say such a thing? Oh my gosh. What planet is he on and what does he think?” Dugan said.

The outrage isn't confined to social media. We played a clip of his comments for voters who had heard about it but hadn't actually heard it. They tell us they think that a male mayor would not have to face the same criticism. Brandtner is a managing partner at Aventine Hill and is the father of a teenage boy.

“I think it he was trying to convince someone not to voter for her he probably did the opposite for me,” said Lori Yi.

“It did not go over well and I think that it will hurt him. Whether he meant it or not, he said it. So there's probably some part of him who believes that,”  said Kirsten Hashmi.

In an email, Brandtner told FOX 26 he stand by the statement, claiming Sample has missed important meetings and texts a lot during the meetings she does attend. Sample says she stands by her record as mayor and as a council member.

“I campaigned five months pregnant. I block walked.  I delivered while I was on council.”  Sample said.