Maryville school board candidate Bethany Hodson Pope got to talk with her supporters Tuesday evening, some she was meeting face-to-face for the first time.
“I had some people whom I had never met before because they had joined the campaign through my website,” said Pope. “It was good to meet them in person and talk to them.”
Pope’s reception was at Ruby Tuesday Lodge. Pope said school board chair Carolyn McAmis came by, as did Sharon Anglim of the Maryville City Schools central office. “I think it went well,” said the first-time candidate. “Obviously my family was there for support as were friends.”
Pope said the race thus far is up in the air. “There are three good people running – that’s what people are saying. However it ends up, the school board will be good with the two winners. Obviously I’m the underdog,” she said. “If I don’t get in, I hope to try again in two years. It’s definitely been a learning experience, having never done this.”
Pope explained why she considered herself an underdog. “Doug (Jenkins) is the incumbent, so he has a good chance. Charles (West) has a very recognizable name, and his father was mayor. I think that helps him. I’ve grown up here, but it’s like I’ve come off the street. I’ve never had anyone in my family involved in politics,” she said.
Pope said she thought she could give the board a fresh perspective.
“There are a lot of big decisions to be made. I think it will be important to have new people on the board to drive those decisions.”