Monday, State Representative Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) and a candidate in the July 17 Republican runoff for lieutenant governor, is campaigning across the state with a life-size fiberglass tiger statue and a motorboat during what he calls a “Truth Tellin’ Tour” after his opponent Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, attacked Ainsworth over his past brushes with the law in a media campaign.
Saturday, Cavanaugh released a statement critical of Ainsworth’s tour.
“I am shocked that an ‘adult’ seeking a position of leadership in our state would traipse across it the day before an important election while laughing at and mocking the fact that he was once arrested for and charged with a felony for stealing more than $15,000 in property from multiple victims,” Cavanaugh said. “He admits guilt and that he went to jail for this crime.”
The Cavanaugh campaign claims that everything they have released is backed up by official documentation and records.
Cavanaugh’s campaign said that Ainsworth has issued press releases and made statements to the media confirming the facts of his 2002 arrest; but he dismisses it as a “college prank.”
Cavanaugh said, “Alabamians are sick and tired of politicians who think they’re above the law. The fact that he committed these felonies is bad enough in itself, but to demean and deny the seriousness of his actions is almost as bad as the crime itself.”
On the 2001 illegal boating incident, Ainsworth says that it was simply a boating citation.
The Cavanaugh campaign however claims that, official documentation shows that no citation # was ever issued. The court records also say that Ainsworth was “released from jail” after this arrest in Jackson County.
Cavanaugh commented, “Now, to be ‘released from jail,’ don’t you have to be in jail?”
Ainsworth says that his “Truth Tellin’ Tour” is designed to illustrate the false and misleading attacks his opponent has launched against him in the closing days of the election.
Ainsworth’s tour include stops in Huntsville, Vestavia, Montgomery, and Dothan.
Ainsworth’s campaign says that Cavanaugh “is currently airing deceptive ads that falsely allege he was twice arrested – once in Auburn for the theft of $15,000 and again in Jackson County. In truth, Ainsworth participated in a college prank roughly 20 years ago when he and his classmates ‘kidnapped’ a fiberglass tiger that the Auburn Chamber of Commerce had placed downtown.”
Ainsworth’s campaign says that “the Jackson County incident involved no arrest and was a simple $10 ticket he was issued for having an expired registration sticker on a boat he was piloting while also in college.
Ainsworth will distribute copies of a letter from the sheriff of Jackson County that attests the candidate has never been arrested.
“By campaigning with a life-size tiger in the bed of my pickup and a boat being towed behind, our Truth Tellin’ Tour will let voters and the media see and touch hard evidence of the deception and dishonesty that surrounds my opponent’s attacks,” Ainsworth said.
Cavanaugh also claims that Ainsworth has made numerous other claims that prove to be false upon inspection:
Cavanaugh claims that Ainsworth claims he has “always” supported President Trump 110%, but said in an official press release that: “Donald Trump is a con artist, not a conservative. His ridiculous act has gone far enough and we have to put a stop to it now.” There are numerous examples on his own social media where Ainsworth attacks Trump, aligning himself with the Never Trump movement using the “DUMP TRUMP” slogan. He even rallied a crowd in Huntsville against Donald Trump in 2016, footage of which was captured by WAFF.”
Cavanaugh’s campaign claimed that Ainsworth has funneled over $120,000 to candidates (including liberal Democrats) and Montgomery special interest PACs through an unregistered dark money PAC. “Again, why does Ainsworth believe he’s above the law when he operates a dark money slush fund and ignores the PAC-to-PAC transfer ban?”
Cavanaugh also disputes Ainsworth’s claim that Cavanaugh voted for the largest tax increase in Alabama history.
Cavanaugh’s campaign says that she has never voted for a tax increase and even voted against Gov. Bob Riley’s tax increase plan while Ainsworth was not even registered to vote in that election.
Cavanaugh concluded, “Will Ainsworth can’t handle the facts of his record but like a middle school bully, he calls me names just like he did President Trump and then he repeats his lies.”
The winner of Tuesday’s runoff election will face Muscle Shoals area pastor Dr. Will Boyd (D) in the November 6 general election.
Polls open at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm.