by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
UNION COUNTY, N.C. - The race for the Union County Board of Education has turned controversial after one candidate was wrongfully kicked off school grounds while campaigning.
Jason Marton said he was passing out flyers at Marvin Ridge High School on Tuesday during freshman orientation when he was told he was violating policy and asked to leave.
Minutes before, Marton said his opponent, incumbent Marce Savage, spotted him outside the school and spoke to school officials about his campaigning efforts.
"I'm surprised [by it], especially this early in the campaign," Marton said. "It's unfortunate that we can't dialogue about what's important, that we can't dialogue about what the true issues are."
Eyewitness News obtained an email to current Board of Education members the next day, where Superintendent Mary Ellis said, in part, "We can find no prohibition in your Board policy regarding this question. In fact, many current and former Board members have engaged in this very practice at Friday night football games, open houses, etc. in the past."
In a statement, Marce Savage said, "I'm not going to get involved in any negative campaign tactics. My focus remains on the children of Union County as it always has."
Marton said he plans to continue campaigning at after-school events and during football games.