'I am not racist'; Controversial Parkway BOE candidate is center - KMOV.com

'I am not racist'; Controversial Parkway BOE candidate is center of attention at open forum

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Jeanie Ames disavows being anti-Islam at an open forum Sunday (Credit: KMOV) Jeanie Ames disavows being anti-Islam at an open forum Sunday (Credit: KMOV)
Four candidates were invited to an open forum by two Muslim organizations ( Credit: KMOV) Four candidates were invited to an open forum by two Muslim organizations ( Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A controversial Parkway Board of Education (BOE) candidate, who was under fire for posting anti-Islamic tweets and attacking Michelle Obama on social media, disavows being racist at a forum Sunday evening.

Jeanie Ames was among the four candidates invited to speak at an open forum hosted by the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and Muslims for A Better America. The forum was held to allow voters to get a better understanding of each candidate.

Ames has been criticized for controversial tweets calling for a ban on Islam in America. The former teacher and Parkway graduate told the audience that she feels this was her opportunity to speak up and explain.

"I am not xenophobic, homophobic, anti-Islamic, Anti-Semitic or racist," said Ames. "I am so grateful for the opportunity tonight and put to rest the viral smear campaign that was against my conservative voice on the board."

Organizers said there are hundreds of Muslim families in the district and they hope the candidates will engage with them. The group invited them and other non-Muslim community members to their mosque to discuss and participate in the civic process,

Candidates are running for two director positions open on the Parkway BOE.

Voters will head to the polls on April 3 for election day.

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