The candidate first released a phone conversation she recorded with her former boss, ex-mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who faces criminal gangsterism charges.
Despite his legal troubles, Vaillancourt was overheard offering to get involved in her campaign and help with financing, which echoed similar offers he is alleged to have made to other politicians over the years. The candidate, Claire Le Bel, refused the offer and publicly released the recording Monday.
Later that same day, her campaign manager was assaulted.
Le Bel told a news conference Tuesday that she fears for her safety and no longer drives her car alone. She asked for and received police protection, she said. She also said her aide is doing well after the Monday night assault.
She said her campaign manager Reny Gagnon has filed a complaint with provincial police, but wouldn't provide any details about the circumstances surrounding the attack.
As for the recording, Le Bel told reporters the 50-minute conversation was taped as a precaution in August. In it, Vaillancourt asks Le Bel how the campaign is going and whether she'd recruited all her candidates. He discusses financing and asks for a private meeting with Le Bel.
Le Bel said investigators with Quebec's Charbonneau inquiry were made aware of the tape the next day, but they decided not to act on the information and deemed it a "low priority."
So Le Bel decided to go public.
A copy of the recording is now in the hands of Quebec's anti-corruption police unit.
"After all this city has been through, I have no doubt that Laval residents have a right to know that Gilles Vaillancourt is trying to interfere in the campaign," Le Bel told reporters.
Le Bel wondered whether Vaillancourt has made a similar offer to other political parties or their candidates, and why.
"Where does this money come from, and have other candidates received or accepted this offer?" she said.
"I would find it very surprising that he only met with me."
Vaillancourt ruled the city just north of Montreal for 23 years before his name started surfacing at Quebec's corruption inquiry and his home and office were targeted in police raids.
The ex-mayor resigned in November 2012. He was eventually arrested, with 36 others, in May 2013. In addition to the gangsterism charge, Vaillancourt is also charged with conspiracy, fraud, influence peddling, and breach of trust.
Since Vaillancourt's departure, Laval has had two interim mayors and was placed under trusteeship by the province.
Quebecers vote in municipal elections on Nov. 3.
Le Bel said Tuesday that she should have gone public with her information sooner.
She is the only member of Vaillancourt's now-disbanded former party to be running for mayor. She didn't hold a spot on the city's executive body and wasn't tied to the key decision-makers on council, focusing mainly on local issues in her district.
She's not sure what Vaillancourt's motivation might have been. But she expressed doubt that it was out of desire for civic engagement.
"It's rare to want to finance a political party out of kindness, " Le Bel said.
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