Five will run in first election

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Five people have filed to run for four seats on the Prince Edward County School Board in the county’s first election of school board members.

Cainan Townsend

The deadline to file to run with the county’s registrar was 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The candidates are Lucy Carson, Dr. Timothy Corbett, Dione Jennings, Elzora Stiff and Cainan Townsend, according to the Prince Edward County Registrar’s Office. The five have qualified to appear on the ballot.

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In November, elections will be held for the Leigh District, Buffalo District, Prospect District and Farmville 701 District. The Prospect District will see competition on the ballot, while the remaining three will have only one candidate appearing on the ballot.

Carson, a former principal of Prince Edward County Middle School, is running in the Buffalo District. Corbett, a current member of the Prince Edward County School Board, is running in the Leigh District. Both Jennings and Stiff are running in the Prospect District.

Townsend, the interim director of education and public programs at the Robert Russa Moton Museum, will run in the Farmville 701 District.

Dr. Wilkie Chaffin, who represents the Buffalo District, is not seeking election, nor is Darin Thomas, who represents the Prospect District, or Sherry Honeycutt, who serves as board chairman, representing the Farmville 701 District.

Lucy Carson

The remaining four school board seats are up for election in 2019.

According to County Registrar Lynette Wright, those seeking candidacy must be qualified to vote for and hold office, must have been a resident of Virginia for at least one year immediately preceding the election and a resident of Prince Edward County by the time of filing.

More than a week ago, Wright said many people had picked up packets for candidacy.

“There’s no party affiliation,” Wright said in a previous interview regarding those seeking to be on the school board. “A person can be supported by a party, but they can’t be a Democrat or Republican or anything like that. All of them are independents as far as that’s concerned.”

Dr. Timothy Corbett

She said prospective candidates had to file four forms, including a certificate of candidate qualifications, the declaration of candidacy, a statement of economic interest and a petition of at least 125 qualified voters.

The election stems from a referendum that was on the November ballot due to the efforts of a group of county citizens who obtained the needed amount of petition signatures for the referendum to be considered.

The referendum to elect school board members, rather than having them appointed by the board of supervisors, passed with 76.28 percent of the 8,350 voters choosing “Yes,” and the remaining 23.72 percent of voters choosing “No.”