The political action is heating up in Bloomington. A City Council candidate Monday took the unusual step of asking a court to prevent a local newspaper from publishing what he called a “slanderous” story based on anonymous, unverified information.

In court filings, Johnathon McClellan, a candidate for the District I seat held by Dwayne Lowman, said he was contacted over the weekend by a reporter for the Bloomington Sun Current who told him the paper had received an anonymous fax from Phoenix, with information about McClellan.

McClellan asked for an emergency hearing on a temporary restraining order preventing the Sun Current from publishing a story with “incorrect information” that “would impact the election.” His motion for a restraining order was denied after a brief hearing Monday afternoon by Hennepin County District Judge Frank Magill. McClellan then withdrew his petition.

McClellan, 36, is an appointed member of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission. He retired as a Minneapolis firefighter after injuring his back and knee in the line of duty. He said he believed “my opponent’s camp” is playing “dirty political tricks.”

“There is nothing in my past that wouldn’t qualify me for that [Council] office,” he said. “I’ve run a clean campaign, and I don’t play those kind of games.

Lowman said he’s taking no part in spreading rumors about his opponent or encouraging anyone to do so.

“I don’t participate in that kind of thing,” he said.

JOHN REINAN