Conservative candidate ripped for his beard, ‘no shave, lazy look’

CORNWALL — The Tory candidate here is smiling through his whiskers at his campaign’s first-ever “anonymous reply card hate mail.”

The handwritten missive from a correspondent identifying themselves as a “longtime Conservative” takes umbrage at Eric Duncan’s allegedly unkempt appearance.

Eric Duncan addresses the seventh annual North Dundas Mayor’s Community Breakfast. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

“I am very disappointed in this ‘no shave’ lazy look,” the writer complains in the crumpled letter with enclosed campaign photo of a bearded 31-year-old Duncan — a combination posted to Facebook by the Duncan team this week.

“You are presenting yourself as one of the more un-kept (sic) segment of our society, that look will not make me feel confident in your ability to foster the support you need,” the complaint concludes.

Tongue-in-cheek, Duncan describes the message as “another important campaign moment … someone doesn’t like my beard” with accompanying crying-laughing emoji. “If that’s your biggest issue with me and our campaign, then this ‘unkept segment of society’ thinks we are doing OK.”

The Winchester resident goes on to acknowledge hundreds of positive replies, donations, and lawn sign requests typically received by his election effort in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. But, he adds, “we had a good laugh at this.”

Replying to Duncan’s Facebook post, Janeen Wagemans of South Dundas pointed out that silly appearance critiques are more often applied to the opposite gender. “You know who you are.  And you’re cute as hell,” Wagemans assured him. “(Women get more of those goofy appearance comments. Of course.)”

“#stopthebeardhate Just need more pictures beside me to give some scale to your little beard,” amusingly opined Dave Baker of North Dundas, sporting luxuriant facial hair worthy of ZZ Top.

Duncan’s beard, ironically, at one time captured the attention of a national broadcaster for a potential  “Canada’s coolest mayor” segment — during his previous political tenure as Mayor of Dundas. He had grown it long after a prostate cancer awareness fundraiser.

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