Bentonville school board race goes dark

In Home, Politics by arkansasprogressive

Bentonville Public Schools is the only one of the “Big 4” Northwest Arkansas districts to have a contested election in today’s school board race. Incumbent Brent Leas faces challenger Amy Gillespie for the seat that represents the Bella Vista area. Unfortunately, one of them isn’t playing fair.

The Arkansas Times had a great article a few days ago about the injection of dark money into the race on Brent Leas’ side. A shadowy group called CAAFGBPS, which doesn’t appear to be registered as a PAC with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, sent out a mailer to voters accusing Gillespie of being, gasp, a liberal.

The mailer raises the specter of typical fear-mongering, hot-button issues ranging from the right wing’s terror of public bathrooms to their love of the good ole Confederacy. She’s even attacked for attending a public event organized by Sen. Tom Cotton. Gillespie is taking the bad behavior in stride, posting this on her Facebook page:

“I signed a pledge to run a positive and fair campaign and asked my opponent to do the same. He refused.

It’s sad that toxic politics have infested our local election. I’m running to stand up for Bella Vista families. My campaign is focused on issues that directly affect our children’s educational experience and our tax dollars, not lies and disgusting smear tactics. My opponent has not condemned these attacks. Someone who is okay with the lies and bullying evidenced in this mailer is not a good role model for our kids.”

We hope, in the voting booth today, that you’ll find yourself on the side of the school board candidate who isn’t acting like a schoolyard bully.

Thank you for sharing your voices with me. Early vote for Amy at the County Clerk's office on the Bentonville Square Sept 12-15, and 18. Vote for Amy on Election Day Sept 19 at Bella Vista Baptist Church on Lancashire next to the Library. *Paid for by Committee to Elect Amy Gillespie*

Posted by Amy Gillespie for Bentonville Schools on Monday, September 11, 2017