Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh launched an attack ad in the campaign for lieutenant governor against Rep. Will Ainsworth which accuses him of being arrested twice.
Ainsworth, a Guntersville Republican, said the attack was a desperate attempt to fool voters.
“It’s just desperate politics that smears the facts and tries to spear me for something that happened 20 years ago,” Ainsworth said. “Twinkle Cavanaugh is a bureaucrat lobbyist turned career politician trying to lie and smear her way to higher office. Her latest desperate attacks against me are everything that people hate about politics and they prove, once again, that she will say, do, or lie about anything to keep power.
In the ad, Cavanaugh accuses Ainsworth of being arrested in 2002 for first-degree theft of property for stealing more than $15,000 in property and in 2001 for being arrested in Jackson County. The ad goes on to state Ainsworth never spent a day in jail because of family influence and money.
Ainsworth said he was never arrested in either case. He said the 2002 accusation was from a college prank and the 2001 charge was a ticket for a boating
Ainsworth said while in college at Auburn University, he and some fraternity brothers thought it would be funny to “kidnap” a few fiberglass tigers that had been placed downtown by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. He said people had donated $15,000 to have the tigers placed downtown. Ainsworth said they returned the tigers on Amnesty Day, which is a “come clean” day in Auburn Municipal Court.
“It was a dumb stunt, and we all agreed to pay fines and perform community service for Habitat for Humanity,” Ainsworth said. “After college, I became a youth pastor and used the experience to teach kids a valuable life lesson about resisting peer pressure and making good choices.”
Ainsworth said the 2001 incident was just a boating violation.
“I got a fine for an improperly registered boat,” Ainsworth said. “I was driving a friend’s boat and it wasn’t properly registered. It wasn’t even my boat. I paid the fine, and there was no arrest involved.”
Cavanaugh also accused Ainsworth of not supporting President Donald trump in the ad.
“First, Twinkle lied about my strong support of President Trump against crooked Hillary,” Ainsworth said. “I campaigned for him. And I support our President 110 percent. Now, she’s desperately attacking me for a boating registration ticket I got in college, and a stupid college prank that took place when I was 20.
“The fact that Twinkle has no conservative message or agenda and relies only political stunts and lies proves how desperate she has become. It’s a new low, even for a swamp politician like her. We fully expect these kinds of ugly lies and distortions from Democrats and the Fake News Media, but not from a fellow Republican. Twinkle Cavanaugh should be ashamed.”
The attack campaign started just days before the July 19 Republican run-off election between Ainsworth and Cavanaugh for lieutenant governor.