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E.W. Jackson, the Chesapeake preacher known for controversial rhetoric, is facing new challenges as his campaign for lieutenant governor of Virginia enters its final weeks.According to interviews and campaign finance reports, Jackson’s campaign has struggled with basic management issues, including financial accounting. And more recently, vivid details of his escape from deprivation in a Chester, Pa., foster home — the emotional core of his stump speech — have been challenged by two women who were there.Republican E.W. Jackson and Democrat Ralph Northam debated Tuesday night in Arlington.A campaign spokesman said Thursday that everything Jackson says on the trail about his upbringing is true.Jackson says life was so tough with his impoverished foster family that they sometimes had to eat mayonnaise sandwiches for dinner. Other nights, there was no supper at all.There was also no indoor bathroom, Jackson said, and as the youngest of the foster children, “I brought the pot down.” He was last in line for the once-a-week bath in a galvanized tub.“I’m like, ‘What house was he in?’ ” said Nadine Molet, the adopted daughter of foster parents Willie and Rebecca Molet.Nadine Molet shared the same roof with Jackson and said the bathroom was on the first floor, beyond the well-stocked kitchen. “I never remember missing a meal. We always had fatback, cornbread, pancakes. We always took a lot of food to church.”Leola Brown, who lived in the unit next door and would come over to babysit Molet and Jackson, said, “They didn’t want for anything.” She remembers the banana pudding and fruited Jell-O she’d find there, and the bathroom, just as in her unit, was past the kitchen and “off to the right.”Jackson declined requests for interviews. His campaign spokesman, Brian Marriott, said: “Nothing he’s saying about his childhood is untrue. Those were the conditions he experienced.”
We always had fatback, cornbread, pancakes.