Politics

Education advocate finds campaign sign misleading

The former co-chair of the Battle Ground-based Citizens for Better Schools paused upon seeing a campaign sign for Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, that states: “Teachers support Benton.”

The problem, Lisa Henry says, is that it implies Benton is supported by the state’s teachers union, the Washington Education Association. That group has actually endorsed Benton’s opponent, state Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver.

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“Anyone candidate can find a couple teachers, firefighters, police, etc., who support them, and advertise the same thing, I suppose,” Henry wrote in an email. “I find the signs misleading.”

Benton is endorsed by the Public School Employees of Washington, a union group that represents school support workers such as bus drivers, para-educators and custodians, not teachers.

A recent mailer sent out by Benton’s campaign calls the state senator a “leader for education” who is endorsed by “Public School Employees of Washington and many teachers.”

Henry said she was surprised to see the “teachers support Benton signs” because the 17th District senator “was not a friend to our issues with school funding,” she said.

Benton called Henry’s comments “outlandish” and said that he supported a budget plan in the 2012 Legislature that made no cuts to K12 education. He also said: “I’ve always publicly endorsed the Battle Ground school levy.”

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or stevie.mathieu@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reportermathieu or www.twitter.com/col_politics

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