There’s s a stunner of claim from Sandra Clark in this week’s Shopper-News. In a post entitled, “Turmoil on the school board,” Clark writes:
Knox County school board drama continues with last week’s revelation that vice chair Gloria Deathridge has health issues that might make it difficult for her to serve a four-year term. She’s a candidate for re-election on Aug. 7, opposed by retired social worker Marshall Walker.
But according to Deathridge, who’s in a runnoff election to retain her 1st District KCS Board of Education seat, Clark is wrong.
“It’s not true,” Deathridge says. “If I had not been healthy enough to serve out my term, I wouldn’t have run.”
Deathridge says that she does have—or has had recently—a somewhat serious health issue. She declined to elaborate as to what it was, saying her health is a personal matter.
“I have not missed a beat so far, and I don’t plan to,” Deathridge says. “Yes, I’ve had health issues, but who hasn’t? I’ve been working through them, and it’s not anything that’s going to keep me from serving my term, or anything that’s going to slow me down.”
Deathridge says any speculation about her health is just dirty election politics. However, the Shopper‘s Betty Bean (who often freelances for us) notes over on Knox Views that the information did not come from Deathridge’s opponent, Marshall Walker, but is “evidently pretty widely known in their district.” Deathridge also says she had no idea Clark was writing about her and that she only found out when a reporter (not this one) called her. But in Bean’s same comment she says that Clark e-mailed Deathridge about the claims and never got a response.
We haven’t been able to reach Walker for a comment, but we’ll update the post if we do.
In any case, if you live in the 1st District and still aren’t sure which candidate deserves your vote—or if you just want to ask Deathridge about her health in person—you’re in luck: There’s a school board candidate forum tonight at 6 p.m. at the downtown library.