Households in the Hickman Mills School District on Saturday received anonymous mailings smearing a slate of three candidates running in Tuesday’s election.
The fliers, attacking incumbents Dan Osman and Bonnaye Mims and newcomer Karry Palmer, do not indicate who paid for them, a violation of state law.
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“This is as vicious a thing, if not more vicious, as I’ve ever seen,” said John Sharp, a Kansas City councilmanwho learned of the mailings as he knocked on doors in support of the candidates.
Palmer and Mims, a Missouri state representative, said a similar batch of false fliers hit mailboxes late in the 2013 election campaigns.
“I didn’t expect such blatant lies,” Palmer said of a flier that accuses him of failing to pay child support for five years. Other attacks include claims that the slate is affiliated with a convicted child rapist, which the three candidates denied Saturday.
“I’m so tired of this nastiness,” said Mims. “I’m just going to put it in the people’s hands on Tuesday.”
The district has been rocked in recent years by controversy. A state audit last month alleged mismanagement and questioned the extensive use of no-bid contracts. Many also have questioned the influence of Freedom Inc., a Kansas City political club, in hiring and contract bidding within Hickman Mills.
Osman said of the unidentified mailings: “This is something that can’t continue in our district.”
All three candidates have been endorsed by the National Education Association, The Kansas City Call and The Kansas City Star.
The other candidates are board member Breman Anderson Jr. and challengers Debbie Aiman, Tanesha Forte, Carol Graves, Shawn Hayes, Clifford O. Ragan III and Sandy Sexton.