Politics is dirty, but the race for Erath County sheriff has gotten downright filthy.

Sheriff Matt Coates learned Thursday morning that someone had printed anonymous letters about him and placed them on the windshields of cars parked at Walmart on Wednesday evening.

His campaign is fighting back and offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the person who is behind distributing the material. 

“The campaign is offering $750 and Clell Murray is offering an additional $250,” said Coates’ campaign manager Brent Graves. “The person who put these letters out can step forward and claim the money. We are not after them. We want to know who paid or hired this person or people to distribute this filth.”

Murray is also a candidate for sheriff and confirmed to the E-T that he did, in fact, pitch in for the reward money. 

“This is not necessary and these kinds of actions make a mockery out of our election process,” Murray said. “I’m not happy about it and I want no part of it.” 

Graves said the letter not only attacked Coates and his family, but staff members working at the sheriff’s office and jail.

“It’s just dirty politics,” Graves said. “A certain amount of criticism comes with the badge and Sheriff Coates understands that, but his staff and family should not be drug through the mud.” 

Anyone with information can contact Graves at 254-459-1111 or email matt@erathlawman.com.