The Republican race for Alabama Lieutenant Governor has gotten heated with both candidates questioning the truthfulness of the other. On Monday, state Representative Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, loaded up the family into a new flatbed truck with a giant fiberglass tiger statue in the back and towing a powerful bass boat. The Ainsworth family toured the state on the last day of the campaign in what Ainsworth called a “truth tellin tour.”
The Alabama Political Reporter caught up with Ainsworth at a press conference in Vestavia at the City Hall. Ainsworth presented APR with a copy of a letter from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office that he said offers conclusive proof he was never arrested in that area.
“You have NO record of arrest/confinement at Jackson County, Alabama Jail. Per the Circuit Clerk’s Office, you have ONE Citation/Ticket in the year 2001 for operating an unregistered boat,” the letter from Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen reads.
Ainsworth told APR that in 2001, he was operating a boat that was owned by a friend, “I didn’t have money for a boat,” when the marine police ticketed them for not having proof of registration of the boat through a current boat sticker. The owners of the boat were able to present the court with proof of registration so they were charged $10 in court costs and the case was dismissed. Ainsworth said that he was never arrested for the boating infraction.
“Twinkle made it up,” Ainsworth said of his opponent’s claim that he had been arrested in Jackson County. Ainsworth even had a campaign sign saying, “Twinkle is a liar.”
Ainsworth said that Twinkle has falsely claimed in television and radio ads and mass mailings costing thousands of dollars.
Ainsworth also objected to the Cavanaugh campaign’s claim that he stole $15,000 worth of property.
Ainsworth admitted that he was arrested once while a college student at Auburn University; but said that it was a “college prank” and not grand theft.
Ainsworth admitted stealing a fiberglass tiger, like the one that he had on his truck. The tigers had been placed around the City of Auburn by the Chamber of Commerce.
APR asked: there has been some conflicting reports on this as to whether it was one tiger or several tigers. How many tigers was it?
“Five,” Ainsworth said.
APR asked were all of the tigers eventually returned or are there some of them hidden in Guntersville someplace?
Ainsworth said yes, they were all returned and that they never meant to keep the tigers. The plan was to take the tigers and hold them until an amnesty day came where they could return them without charges being filed. They were, however, discovered before the amnesty. Ainsworth admitted that it was a mistake.
Ainsworth said that the Cavanaugh campaign has misreported the facts of what happened in these two incidents.
“If we can’t trust Twinkle to tell the truth as a candidate, how can Alabamians ever believe a word she says as an elected official,” Ainsworth said. “As a career politician and a product of the Montgomery swamp, she has based her entire campaign on lies, deceit, and dirty tricks in hopes that some of her false attacks will stick. I have confidence that Alabama Republican runoff voters are too smart for her dirty tricks.”
APR asked if all of the negative campaigning and negative attacks have hurt the chances of the Republican nominee against the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor in the fall, Dr. Will Boyd.
Ainsworth said that he did not think it would.
The Republican primary runoff is today.