Jones School Board Campaign Reboots Social Media Presence

Scott Foens

After admitting some of her nominating petition signatures were falsified, Geralyn Jones, running for Linn-Mar School Board, is attempting a reset.
Geralyn Jones Campaign Sign Along 29th Avenue in MarionScott Foens

Saturday afternoon, Jones announced a new facebook campaign page. She, "WILL BE LESS ACTIVE," on her current constituent site and, "will be moving forward with this campaign a bit differently," Jones wrote in a Facebook post.
Facebook post by Geralyn Jones announcing a new campaign pagePost from Facebook

Rebooting her campaign comes as Jones realized, "my views and my values have become a target." Those include opposing requiring students to be vaccinated before attending class or requiring masks in school buildings, measures statistically demonstrated to reduce both the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread and symptoms from infection.

On Thursday, Jones faced a Linn-Mar petition objection committee after Bret Nilles, a resident of the school district, filed a, “challenge to the validity of 25 signatures,” on her petitions. Nilles said, “It is apparent that individual signatures were made by the same individual on multiple occasions,” arguing these signatures should not be counted.

Nilles highlighted twenty-three of sixty-two names. State law requires fifty “eligible electors” from the school district to sign a petition allowing Jones onto the November 2 ballot.

Cerby Newton’s name was one highlighted in Nilles complaint. In a video recorded by their doorbell camera and posted on YouTube by another person, his wife Chelsea Newton confessed to affixing Cerby’s name to Jones’ petition.

Nilles submitted his objection on Tuesday, September 21, the last day state law allows for a hearing request. A committee of three panelists, composed of the school board president, secretary and one other board member must hear the objection within two business days.

During the September 23 hearing, Jones admitted spouses signed their partner’s names by introducing affidavits from individuals not actually signing the nomination petition but expressing their support for her nomination during the hour long hearing.

She justified this saying the Bible considers a husband and wife “one.”

Despite the admission resident names were signed by others, the Linn-Mar panel voted 3-0 to allow Jones' nomination to proceed.

But the issue was not put to rest.

On Saturday, television station KCRG reported, Linn County Auditor Joel Miller asked Sheriff Brian Gardner to open an investigation into the problem signatures. Ethan Stein writes for KCRG that Iowa’s new election law requires the auditor to act or face financial penalties.

In addition to the petition issue, Jones applied to Linn-Mar for a non-licensing use of the district logo. This item is on the consent agenda for the September 27 board meeting and will not be discussed by the board separately unless a member requests its removal from that portion of the meeting.

The original Facebook site, Geralyn Jones - Candidate for Linn-Mar School Board, "will remain for those parents who choose to grow their relationships throughout the community." However, if interest drops, she, "may consider deletion."

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