Two of the three races for seats on the Leon County School Board are headed to a runoff.
Incumbent school board member Joy Bowen was able to avoid a run-off in the District 5 race with 53.2% of vote. Bowen received 3,867 votes while Bowen’s only challenger, Marcus Nicolas, tallied 3,401 votes.
District 4 incumbent school board member Alva Striplin faced two challengers in the August 28th primary. Striplin finished first but was unable to cross the 50% threshold with 47.4% (9,221 votes) of the vote. The run-off will feature Striplin and Leon County School Board administrator Ricky Bell who received 34.2% (6,671 votes) of the vote. Patty Ball Thomas finished third with 18.4% (3,578 votes) of the vote.
District 3 incumbent school board member Maggie Lewis-Butler faced three challengers. Lewis-Butler was able to secure a place in the run-of by finishing second with 23.9% (2,106 votes) of the vote. Challenger Darryl Jones won the race with 44.1% (3,878 votes) of the vote.
There are several things I things incumbent Alva Striplin (or whatever her last name is) should address.
While serving on the board, during the 2016 election, were you the mole for then candidate Hanna in his run against Pons? Did you share info with Hanna concerning the actions of Pons? Were your votes and actions based on politics to benefit then candidate Hanna and sow discourse against the sitting Superintendent?
You constantly called into question the construction donors of Pons and now you have some of the same donors. How is it different for you now? Why have you attempted to push the zoning issue with the new Canopy Development? You have tried to push students to Swift Creek (district 2) instead of Cobb (your district 1). Why would a school board member want to push students out of their own zone? Could it be that is what the Canopy Developers want in return for their donation to your campaign?
Why have you and Hanna worked behind the scenes to defeat Joy Bowen and Maggie Lewis? After all, their opponents, received the same endorsements as you. Board of Realtors and Teachers Union both have connections to you and Hanna.
The residents of District one deserve a better representative that will put children first and not politics.
The thing I noticed are the donations that Alva Striplin gets from NAITalcor and a whole bunch of real estate businesses. She has a ton of those for a substantial amount. Her opponent is almost exclusively supported by individuals. Why does NAITalcor jump in these small races? I think they did the same thing for the Supervisor of Elections race. What does commercial real estate have to do with schools and elections?
Whoever publicly pledges to hold Rocky Hanna accountable for falsifying information to federal and state officials and appointing Gillian Gregory, Allen Cox, Sue Kraul, Kathleen Rodgers to positions paying $100,000 each WITHOUT ever interviewing I will vote for. Where is the accountability for Hanna? 10 schools drop a letter grade, 4 D schools and. 1 F and Asssitant Superintendents Gregory and Cox get contracts renewed? Only in the Kingdom of Rocky Hanna. How many retired retreads has Hanna rehired?
It really does not matter who wins. None of these folks ran on a platform for change.