Pair of School Board Candidates Concerned About Possible Smear Campaign

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Alice Saudargas served 11 years on the Rockford School Board and now, two days before trying to get her seat back, she says someone is threatening her to force her to drop out of the race.

Saudargus says she's no stranger to politics but her latest campaign for Rockford School Board has brought her into new territory.

"I’ve been in politics all my life as well as in education. And I certainly have not seen anything like this for a school board position. I’ve never seen anyone harassed or intimidated,” says Saudargas. "I’ve got many a phone call harassing me. One saying, what are you doing in the race you old so and so i won't use the word they used.”

The 96 year old is running as a write in candidate in Sub-District C, the seat she held until 2 years ago when she was defeated by current board member ken Scrivano. Saudargus thinks she's a target due to her desire to know what’s going on in District 205 Sub-District F candidate Juan Reyes feels the same way.

"I think there is some concern if I get on the board and if Juan gets on the board, they won’t have the 6 to one majority they enjoy now because I ask questions and stand up for the teachers," says Saudargas.

Reyes says around the time Saudargus started receiving threats, he was arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer. Reyes says the arrest is connected to a November traffic stop but questions the timing.

"I don’t know what's going on, maybe someone has high power but I think it was a tactic to smear my name and make me look bad to the voters," says Reyes.

Voters will have the final say on Tuesday, and until then Saudargus says she’s not fazed by the unfriendly phone calls.

"I don't give a rip! I am in this race because I think the public needs to be involved in decision making," says Saudargas.

Saudargus has to run as a write in candidate because her petitions were challenged and she was removed from the ballot in January. An election board ruled she didn't have the 50 needed signatures to be in the race. She says she did but couldn’t prove her case to the board because she was in the hospital.

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