Background: the Chain Reaction
In January 2016, three judges decided a new congressional map that redrew lines of the 3rd and 4th district would provide more racial equity in elections. The then 4th District Congressman, Randy Forbes, decided to run in the 2nd District thus creating a vacancy in the 4th. In the November 2016 election, Donald McEachin defeated Mike Wade for the seat. McEachin’s win left his 9th district State Senate seat vacant. With that vacancy, Jennifer McClellan announced her run for the seat. In January 2017, McClellan won the special election which left her 71st district House of Representatives seat vacant. Then Jeff Bourne decided to run for McClellan’s vacant seat in a special election. At the time, Jeff Bourne had just won re-election in November to Richmond City School Board in the 3rd District. When he won the special election, his seat was left vacant; however, this would not trigger an immediate special election. The way the School Board works is they appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next regular election. In March 2017, 17 people applied for the appointment; however, only 12 people qualified as two could not be verified as living in the district and three submitted paperwork after the deadline. After the applications were received, the School Board interviewed all candidates at a public meeting where the public was allow to speak on behalf of a candidate. Then the board had a vote in closed session to determine the winner.
Each candidate interviewed had 3 minutes to introduce themselves to the board and then they were asked 5 questions with 2 minutes to respond.
- What assets will you bring to the team?
- What have you done to promote public education?
- Why did you apply?
- What will you do to move RPS forward?
- What is the number 1 priority of RPS and how do you address it?
If you missed the meeting, you can watch the interviews online! Out of the 12 candidates, the School Board selected Cindy Menz-Erb to fill the seat.
What happens next?
The next regular election in Virginia is November 7, 2017. In Richmond City, depending on the district, residents will vote on the following offices:
- Lieutenant Governor
- Attorney General
- House of Delegates- 66th, 69th, 70th, 71st, 74th districts
- Commonwealth’s Attorney
- 3rd District Richmond School Board
Six candidates filed and qualified for the ballot in the 3rd District School Board race.
- Dorian Daniels
- Kenya Gibson
- Joann Henry
- Lathaniel Kirts
- Cindy Menz-Erb
- Kevin Starlings
Be on the look out!
We sent the six candidates a questionnaire to learn more about them and their beliefs. In the coming days, we will start posting their responses. The questions we asked are heavy on policy and hot topic issues facing the board today.
- Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less.
- Tell us why you are running for school board in 100 words or less.
- Why are you more qualified than the other candidates?
- What do you think ‘government transparency’ looks like in practice?
- What do you see as the #1 problem facing RPS? What is the solution?
- Are you in favor of or against charter schools? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to you to ‘support teachers’?
- Do you support redistricting? Why or why not? If so, how would you approach it?
- What is your opinion of the Mayor’s Education Compact?
- What do you think are the most important qualities the next Superintendent of RPS must have?
In the meantime, if you really need your school board election fix… the first donation reporting deadline has passed and a couple of candidates are filing electronically.
Dorian Daniels (last updated in 2016)
Kevin Starlings (last updated in 2016)
TAGGED: Cindy Menz-Erb, Dorian Daniels, election, Joann Henry, Kenya Gibson, Kevin Starlings, Lathaniel Kirts, schools