With all seven precincts reporting Tuesday night in the District 8 race on the Muscogee County School Board, retired urologist and former board chairman Philip Schley ousted one-term incumbent and self-employed lawyer Frank Myers with 65 percent of the vote, 1,517 to 828.
Schley also won the early vote with 65 percent, 441 to 235. He served on the board for 21 years (1972-81 and 1998-2010), including as chairman for nine years.
District 8 is the most pivotal race among the five seats up for election this year on the nine-member board, because it features Myers, the board’s most outspoken critic of superintendent David Lewis and his administration, against Schley, a staunch supporter.
Myers campaigned to get other reformers elected during this election and the previous two, and he maneuvered behind the scenes to assemble anti-establishment alliances on the board and shift the chairmanship from Pat Hugley Green of District 1 to Chambers.
In a phone interview Tuesday night with the Ledger-Enquirer, Schley said, “I’m delighted that we’re rid of his negativity, and now we can proceed with some positivity.”
Schley said Myers has been “a bully with terrible manners and terrible ideas.”
The key to winning the race, Schley said, was that “voters recognized Frank Myers has been destructive to public education in Columbus, Georgia, and they voted for somebody who would bring back comity between the school board and the superintendent.”
Myers wasn’t reached for comment.