Kia Chambers, the nine-member Muscogee County School Board’s lone countywide representative, will seek a second four-year term.
Chambers disclosed her decision in response to the Ledger-Enquirer’s query.
“With dedicated staff members and hard working teachers, we have made many positive gains in the Muscogee County School District but there is still work to be done,” Chambers wrote in her email to the Ledger-Enquirer. “I am committed to staying on board and helping this school district become the ‘Stellar’ School District our kids deserve. That is why I plan to offer myself up for another term.”
Chambers, a former teacher, is the qualifying broker for Prestige Property Brokers.
Qualifying for the 2018 local nonpartisan races runs from 9 a.m. March 5 until noon March 9. The deadline to register to vote in those elections is April 23. Advance in-person voting will be April 30 through May 18 in the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way. May 22 will be Election Day for those races.
In a joint announcement last Tuesday at the All On Georgia website, District 2 representative John Thomas wrote that he was speaking for Frank Myers of District 8 when he said they won’t run for a second four-year term. Myers, a self-employed lawyer, and Thomas, an IRS agent, have been the nine-member board’s most outspoken critics of the Muscogee County School District administration.
The other board seats up for election this year are District 4 (incumbent Naomi Buckner, a special-education teacher in Chattahoochee County) and District 6 (incumbent and vice chairman Mark Cantrell, CEO of Action Buildings). Cantrell told the Ledger-Enquirer in a voicemail Friday he will decide this week. Buckner hasn’t replied to the Ledger-Enquirer’s query.
The other announced candidates for the school board this year are:
▪ Robert Mathias Roth in District 6. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel and now works from his home as director of government business development for Vertex Solutions, a learning development and services company based out of Urbana, Ill.
▪ Philip Schley in District 8. He is a retired urologist and served on the board for 21 years (1972-81 and 1998-2010), including as chairman for nine years.
▪ David Merlin Wright in District 8. He retired from the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office as a captain and is a former Stowers Elementary School substitute teacher and aide.
In 2014, NeighborWorks Columbus president Cathy Williams, now the board’s District 7 representative, didn’t run for a third term as the school board’s at-large member. Chambers became the first black candidate to win the seat. In a three-way race, she collected 52.55 percent (12,306) of the votes. The late Owen Ditchfield, a retired educator and former District 7 representative, finished second with 30.70 percent (7,189), and former NAACP Columbus chapter president and retired soldier Nate Sanderson finished third with 16.57 percent (3,880).