Stop Lying About Gary Tripp and Have a Serious Discussion of the Issues

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Editorials and Opinions

School boards can have significant implications for our children’s education, which is why voters in Rio Rancho School District 1 deserve a serious discussion of the vastly contrasting positions of myself and my opponent. Yet Robyn Schmalz’s letter in last Sunday’s Observer served up only lies and distortions.  

Schmalz claimed that my neighbor “hoisted a Trump flag” leading to vandalism by left-wing protesters. To put it accurately, everyone who drives by my neighbor’s property is subjected to over 20 flags, all making various statements of hate, including hatred of President Biden, Democrats, and Gary Tripp. Other flags proclaim, “Don’t Tread on Me” and “WTF?”. Yet others display even more images and slogans promoting hatred and division. 

Schmalz and my neighbor need to stop the lies that cause hatred and division. Schmalz needs to speak with my former students, neighbors and friends to get a true picture of Gary Tripp, not the made-up version that fits the objectives of her extremist group, whose agenda is not the education of Rio Rancho’s children.

To counter the hate, 18 Black Lives Matter members held a peaceful protest across the street from my neighbor’s home last year. This brought White supremacists and other extremists to racially protest in our neighborhood. The hundred or so extremists, armed with AK-47s and other weapons, were ready to go to war to back up the messages on those flags. 

The BLM protesters, wishing to avoid violence and at the suggestion of our Rio Rancho police officers, moved up the street to demonstrate peacefully. 

I knew several of the BLM protesters, probably seven had been my former students at RRHS. We discussed ensuring their demonstration remained peaceful, a goal we all shared. I am very grateful that several police officers came by my house to say hello and make sure my family was safe. Three of the officers were also my former students.

Sadly, October 10, 2021, will always be the day when the Rio Grande Foundation, Robyn Schmalz, my neighbor and perhaps the other extremists in our city revealed their true colors. 

For me, I am confident that my former students, friends, family, and most of my neighbors know that I am the leader they want on their school board. 

Gary Tripp

Rio Rancho

This letter in response to earlier letters to the Rio Rancho Observer, available elsewhere on our website, was published in the Oct. 17, 2021, issue of the Rio Rancho Observer. We urge voters to support Gary Tripp. 

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