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Bart Pemberton

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Bart Pemberton making public comments to CFSD board on September 12, 2023

Bart Pemberton is an optometrist and public school board candidate in the Catalina Foothills community just north of Tucson in Pima County, Arizona. He filed a statement of interest on February 15, 2024 to run in the 2024 election for one of two open seats on the Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) governing board.[1]. CFSD is a non-select open enrollment public school district in the Catalina Foothills. CFSD enrolls approximately 5,100 K-12 students, half of whom reside within the district boundaries. The district includes one preschool, four elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school[2].

Bart was quoted by the national news outlet the Daily Caller in three separate articles published between March and August 2023.

On May 9, 2023, the Daily Caller covered the indefinite closure of in-person board meetings by CFSD leadership alleging a violent threat[3]. The article quoted Bart's message to CFSD board members that the police report revealed no actual threat [4]. Tucson CBS affiliate KOLD News 13 reported CFSD leadership alleged "acts of intimidation and threats of violence" [5]. This same phrase - "acts of intimidation and threats of violence" - was the text found in the 2021 National School Board Association letter cited by Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing to congress and the FBI his concern for domestic terrorism at school board meetings[6].

On August 18, 2023, Bart was cited in a third Daily Caller article. This article cited Bart's discovery of a survey distributed to students which solicited private sexual and mental health information. The survey asked students for individual meetings and if the information should be kept from their parents and even other teachers. Bart referenced an email he received from the superintendent acknowledging that the form was indeed distributed but that she does not believe parental consent was warranted[7].

Bart previously ran for CFSD school board in 2022 and did not win that election. That 2022 race was the first time in 12 years candidates competed for an open seat. The 2020 election was cancelled when two board members ran uncontested and were appointed by the Pima County Superintendent of Schools Dustin Williams[8]. According to the Pima County Elections website, Bart is one of four candidates who have submitted their statement of interest to run in 2024.

Bart is 55 years old, resides in the Catalina Foothills community of Tucson, Arizona, and is married with three children. Bart graduated from the University of California at Berkeley School of Optometry and been a practicing eye doctor for the last 25 years.

Bart's community involvement includes the School Site Council and FFO (friends and family organization) at Manzanita Elementary School, the AZ Optometric Association (past president), church volunteer, Knights of Columbus, and the Scoutmaster for a local Boy Scout Troop[9].

As of March 16, 2024, Bart has raised $5,100 on the political fundraising site Crowdpac[10]


  1. "2024 Statement of Interests - Pima County Schools - Tucson, AZ".
  3. "School District Files Report with FBI over Alleged 'Threats' After Parents Criticize Transgender Locker Room Policy".
  5. "Catalina Foothills School District cancels board meeting because of threats". 25 April 2023.
  6. "An important school board group is unraveling after it sent a letter to Biden likening threats against school officials to 'domestic terrorism and hate crimes'". Business Insider.
  7. "EXCLUSIVE: Teacher's 'Getting to Know You' Form Offered to Not Use Kids' Preferred Pronouns with Parents".
  8. "2020 School District Election Results - Pima County Schools - Tucson, AZ".
  9. "2022 elections: Candidate questionnaire: Bart Pemberton for CFSD Governing Board". 6 October 2022.
  10. "Will you support my candidacy for CFSD Governing Board?".

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