Thousands of dollars put into Bentonville School Board race
BENTONVILLE — The race between Brent Leas and Amy Gillespie for the School Board’s Zone 2 seat has drawn more…
BENTONVILLE — The race between Brent Leas and Amy Gillespie for the School Board’s Zone 2 seat has drawn more than $8,000 in contributions to the candidates’ campaigns, according to pre-election finance reports filed this week.
Leas, the incumbent, raised $4,289. Gillespie received $3,825, plus nonmonetary contributions valued at $1,825, according to the candidates’ reports. Pre-election reports were due Tuesday.
School board races
Here’s a list of other Northwest Arkansas school board races to be decided Tuesday.
• Position 1, five years: James H. Brown Jr. v. Jay Oliphant*
• Position 2, five years: Raegena Davis v. Jodi Moore
• Position 5, five years: Mindy Grusing v. Doug Williams*
• Zone 3, five years: Kendra Moore v. Richard Watson
• Position 1, five years: Mark Beaver* v. Whitney Woods Bryant
• Zone 2, four years unexpired: Connie Matchell* v. Brad Edwards
*- denotes incumbent
Source: Staff report
Gillespie spent $2,167, most of it on signs and mailers. Leas spent $2,599, almost all on yard signs, with the exception of $55 for T-shirts, according to the reports.
The election is Tuesday. Early voting began this week and ends Monday. Only residents of Zone 2, which covers east Bella Vista, are eligible to vote. The winner gets a five-year term on the board.
The candidates’ lists of contributors hint at their political differences. Leas received $200 from Conservative Arkansas; Gillespie received $500 from Progressive Arkansas Women. Both are political action committees. School board seats in Arkansas are volunteer, nonpartisan positions.
This is the first campaign for both candidates. Leas was unopposed for the seat in 2012 when he joined the board.
Leas, 47, received donations from 19 individuals ranging from $50 to $1,000. His supporters include Bob McCaslin, mayor of Bentonville, who gave $100, and Tamara White, a school counselor and wife of board member Eric White, who gave $200.
Gillespie, 38, listed monetary donations from 23 individuals ranging from $50 to $546. Notable supporters include DeAnne Witherspoon, a member of the Northwest Arkansas Community College Board, who gave $100, and Stephanie Lightle, wife of former Bentonville School Board member Grant Lightle, who gave $250.
Gillespie’s nonmonetary donations came mostly in the form of videography, courtesy of Jennifer Clark of Bentonville, at a value of $1,300.
Both Gillespie and Leas said they’re pleased with the number of supporters.
“It seems obvious from the number of donations that the community is really behind me,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie said she’s met many people over the course of her campaign who are engaged and interested in how the School District operates.
“They seem really anxious to make a change for the better,” she said.
Leas said contributions to his campaign are continuing to come in.
“Thus far, I haven’t had to put any of my own dollars into my campaign,” he said. “I think I have worked real hard to keep things very positive, just to champion the good things we’ve accomplished as a district over the last five years.”
NW News on 09/16/2017
Source: NWA Online Northwest Arkansas News Thousands of dollars put into Bentonville School Board race