Jason Lewis, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, is taking a page from national politics to blast Democratic incumbent Sen. Tina Smith over two March stock sales.
His criticism comes as Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, faces an FBI probe over a large sale of stock in mid-February as he was receiving classified briefings about the coronavirus threat.
In financial disclosure forms required by the Senate, Smith disclosed March 17 the sale of stock her husband owned in two companies. The amounts in both transactions were listed in ranges of $250,001 to $500,000. The two firms, Dexcom Inc. and Insulet Corp., manufacture devices or systems for diabetes management.
Lewis questioned “what sensitive information Smith may have received in her role as senator.”
Smith campaign spokesman Ed Shelleby said it was her husband, Archie Smith, who owned the stocks and decided to sell them. Smith owns no stocks, he said; her husband is a medical device firms investor.
Calling the sales a “simple business decision,” Shelleby noted that by March 17, the stock market had hit days of historic lows, and wide swaths of society were already closing down due to the pandemic.
Shelleby also noted that Lewis himself, in a March 8 radio interview, predicted widespread stock sell-offs in response to the pandemic.