Opinion: Tom Horne’s Record of Enabling Child Predators Disqualifies Him From Running Arizona Schools

FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2014 file photo, Arizona Attorney Gen. Tom Horne talks to the media about the ruling that the state's traditional marriage laws are unconstitutional and same-sex couples can now apply for marriage licenses, at a news conference in Phoenix. Horne has sued General Motors for failing to recall millions of cars and trucks with safety defects the auto giant did not disclose for years. The lawsuit seeks potentially billions of dollars in fines. Horne said Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 that he sued under the state's consumer fraud statutes and is seeking a $10,000 fine for each of hundreds of thousands of defective vehicles sold in the state. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

By Shelley Jackson

November 7, 2022

By supporting predators and pedophiles, Horne has actively put Arizona students in harm’s way.

Tom Horne’s record of enabling child predators should disqualify him from serving another term as Arizona’s state superintendent of public instruction, overseeing the over 1 million kids enrolled in Arizona’s publicly funded schools. 

Horne has openly allied himself with accused pedophiles and has taken votes that have endangered kids. The Arizona GOP, who will support anyone with their racist, anti-public education agenda, has failed to condemn him at all. In November, voters need to tell the Republican Party that Tom Horne is the wrong choice for Arizonans.

The Company You keep

While other Republicans on the ballot, such as Kari Lake, have not publicly commented, Horne’s campaign has been under well-deserved fire throughout the campaign cycle for his association with an accused pedophile, as well as controversial votes he took while serving prior terms as a state lawmaker and as state superintendent. 

The backlash began when Horne’s campaign posted a photo with disgraced former lawmaker, David Stringer, thanking him for his support. Stringer resigned from the Arizona Legislature in 2019, ultimately avoiding an ethics investigation into his 1983 arrest on multiple child sex crimes charges, including of molesting a developmentally disabled teenager.

RELATED: Meet the GOP School Superintendent Candidate Who Pals Around with Alleged Child Sex Criminals

Horne then spent weeks defending Stringer, who was reportedly doing work for his campaign, before a pathetic attempt to distance himself from the campaign that was too little, too late. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the Arizona Republican Party, including those appearing on the ballot with him, did not comment publicly on the matter. In fact, they’re still promoting him in their campaign literature. They are telling Arizona families that having a Republican in office who will push their goals to defund public education and implement a MAGA agenda is more important to Arizona Republicans than the safety of our students. 

A Question of Character

This of course begs the question—if an accused pedophile is the kind of person that Tom Horne holds in high enough regard to go on a media tour defending, what does that say about who he would trust to work in Arizona’s schools?

Unfortunately, we know the answer to that. If Horne’s support for an accused pedophile weren’t bad enough, it was reported that while previously serving as Arizona’s schools chief, he voted repeatedly to reinstate a teacher who admitted to watching pornography (including of a minor) while in the classroom. 

RELATED: Meet the Democratic Schools Superintendent Running to Improve Arizona’s Schools

By supporting predators and pedophiles, Horne has actively put Arizona students in harm’s way. This is disqualifying and it proves that Tom Horne cannot be trusted to oversee Arizona’s schools. Horne does not belong anywhere near Arizona’s classrooms. He is apparently the GOP’s top choice for state superintendent, but it’s clear he’s the wrong choice for Arizona. 

Misaligned Priorities

As if his history of supporting predators weren’t horrible enough, Tom Horne’s platform in itself is dangerous enough for Arizona. 

We are in the midst of a massive education funding crisis, with Republicans doing everything they can to defund public schools, despite voters disagreeing. Yet, Horne wants to blow through budgets to put more police officers in schools, rather than investing in actual classrooms.

Like others in the Republican Party, Horne is relying on fear and paranoia to distract from the real problems. He wants to waste limited resources creating a hotline to report “critical race theory” instruction—despite it not even being taught in schools. 

The Republican Party clearly offers no real options for parents—their best candidate for schools chief is Tom Horne, a racist who supports child predators. In November, tell the Arizona Republican Party that Tom Horne has no place leading our schools. Vote against Tom Horne.

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