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Old Halloween costume haunts councilman

A challenger is featuring Virginia Beach City Councilman Bill DeSteph's 2008 costume in an ad.

VIRGINIA BEACH -- When does a Halloween costume become a political liability?

When it's provocative and the man wearing it is a city councilman.

'That to me just reflects poor judgment on his part and I think Virginia Beach deserves better,' said Dave Redmond, who is airing an attack ad against Councilman Bill DeSteph showing a picture of DeSteph dressed as an explicit genie in a bottle.

DeSteph wore the costume to a 2008 Halloween party benefiting Samaritan House, a shelter for families battling domestic abuse.

'While the councilman thought his costume was appropriate for an abused children's function, I don't think it's appropriate to show it all on TV,' Redmond says in the ad, which blurs part of DeSteph's costume.

He then directs viewers to www.geniepicture.com -- a Web site he purchased -- where visitors can see and enlarge the uncensored picture after navigating past a mature audiences only disclaimer.

DeSteph said he's not upset about the ad and thinks voters are more concerned about policy issues.

'This is why people hate politics,' DeSteph said. 'It's the negative stuff. I won't go negative and am not about to do it. We focus on the future of Virginia Beach.'

Redmond and DeSteph are among seven candidates vying for two at-large spots on City Council.