Republican Caught Shoplifting From Target

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Keri Blair, a Tennessee school board member tied to the conservative group Moms for Liberty has resigned for “personal, family reasons” after allegedly shoplifting from Target on seven different occasions.

Target drew contempt from many conservatives last year who encouraged boycotts accused in the same vein as brands like Bud Light for purportedly pushing pro-LGBTQ propaganda by selling “tuck-friendly” swimsuits for adults as part of their 2023 Pride Season collection. The company took a menial share price hit between May and June but rebounded with a 7.46 percent increase to end the year.

Moms for Liberty is one of the right-wing groups that helped facilitate such efforts, drawing acclaim from fellow conservatives with shared views against the supposed bombardment of pro-LGBTQ messaging, book bans, Critical Race Theory, and COVID-related school closures. The group’s ‘culture war’ message led to dozens of candidates securing school board seats in the 2022 elections, notably in states like Florida, though success dwindled in 2023 elections where the majority of the more than 130 candidates the group endorsed lost.

Jennifer Martin, chair of the Shelby County chapter of Moms for Liberty, told Newsweek they didn’t officially endorse Blair, 43, in the Collierville School Board 2022 race. But, the group confirmed that she received financial contributions from Patricia Woodward, the treasurer of the local Moms for Liberty chapter.

Keri Blair, a now former school board member from Collierville, Tennessee, resigned from her position on Wednesday after being arrested for allegedly shoplifting seven times from Target in a one-month span. She posted $7,500 bail.
Collierville Police Department TN

She was arrested on January 5 for property theft charges after purportedly “skip-scanning” items at Target self-checkout stations seven different times between November 25 and December 20, a Collierville Police spokesperson told Newsweek.

Her allegedly stolen items amounted to $728.61. Blair was charged with theft under $1,000 and posted $7,500 bail.

School board elections in Collierville, located in Shelby County, are nonpartisan, though Blair promoted herself as a staunch conservative during the election.

“When I started it was ‘Oh, it’s too right. It’s too conservative.’ But as I talked to people and was out in the community—a lot of it was staying true to the things I started and set out from the community,” Blair told the Daily Memphian after winning the election.

Records indicate Blair was a registered Republican while she lived in Kentucky and she was involved with the Conservative Women of Collierville, according to the Daily Memphian.

The Collierville School District made Blair’s announcement public, saying that she informed School Board Chairman Wright Cox of her decision. Cox, who never mentioned her charges, expressed his thanks to Blair for her service to the community and her commitment to public education.

Facebook users expressed resentment towards the district’s wording and lack of any mention of ethics or apologies to the community. They also chastised Cox for neglecting to mention the charges related to Blair’s alleged illegal activity.

“Where’s the comment from Chairman Cox denouncing the illegal and reprehensible actions of Keri Blair?” said one user. “Or is shoplifting considered ‘community support’ these days?”

Another user chimed in: “Personal, family reason. Does that mean her kids were with her when she stole 800 bucks worth of merch from Target?”

Newsweek reached out to the school district and Cox via email for further comment.

Her replacement will be selected by the Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and whoever is picked will serve until the November 5 election.