Allegations of dirty politics in Faulkner County

CONWAY, AR – Several Faulkner County candidates say this is the dirtiest campaign season they’ve ever seen.

Here’s one example: home surveillance footage turned over to Conway police shows someone running up to a Jason Rapert campaign sign and throwing it across the yard.

“It has definitely had a lot more of this kind of activity than I expected,” said Rapert, “and especially than I saw in my last election.

Rapert’s not alone. City Council Candidate Bill Milburn sent a letter to the Conway postmaster, alleging his opponent, Theodore Jones, who works at the post office, solicited votes while on-duty. We spoke to Jones, who said he knew nothing about the allegations.

“There’s a lot of stuff at the county level that has been discolored pretty badly this year,” said Milburn.

Then there’s the sheriff race. Both candidates say people are stealing campaign signs.

“It’s getting just totally ridiculous,” said Tommy Earnhart.

In Andy Shock’s case, not only did someone burn a campaign sign in his grandmother’s front yard, someone also sent a fake birth certificate to county residents, alleging Shock has a child out of wedlock.

“My wife understands that it was completely bogus and it was just ridiculous,” said Shock, “but when my 14-year-old daughter says ‘daddy, I wish they’d just be nice to you, they don’t know you,’ that kind of hurt a little bit.”

So now the question is, are these isolated incidents or is this an unusually dirty campaign cycle? We asked Frank Shaw, the Faulkner County Election Commission chairman.

“There is dirty politics going on under the scene, behind the scenes,” said Shaw, “and it’s a toxic level that I have not ever seen here before.”

Various law enforcement agencies are investigating the claims of dirty politics, but at this time, no charges have been filed in any of the incidents.

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