Nate Sanderson, president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is stepping down from the position to run for the citywide Muscogee County school board seat being vacated by Cathy Williams.
Sanderson said Thursday that he would relinquish the NAACP position on Tuesday, and then officially announce his candidacy 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Citizen Services Center.
“I think I’m the best equipped person to fulfill a seat that will require that person to have the ability to build relationships throughout the city and further advance the education of our students,” Sanderson said. “And I feel the leadership style and traits that I possess will be instrumental to my success in that position.”
“Make no mistake,” he added. “This seat is about providing leadership in education, leadership in community, and building bridges.”
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Sanderson, 55, is a native of St. Petersburg, Fla. He has lived in Columbus ever since being assigned to Fort Benning in 1989. He retired in 1997 from 21 years of military service. He is married and the father of two grown sons.
In 2004, Sanderson ran unsuccessfully against State Rep. Debbie Buckner. He said he has to step down from the NAACP position because the organization’s bylaws prevent officers from running for public office.
The first vice president of the local branch, Abraham Wallace, will lead the local branch until a new president is elected, Sanderson said. Wallace is currently the education chairperson and office manager.
Also running for the citywide school board seat is businesswoman and former educator Kia Chambers, who announced her candidacy in October.