Three more candidates are running for seats on the Muscogee County School Board.
In the past week, Eddie Obleton, Mike Edmondson and Toyia Tucker filed with the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registration a Declaration of Intent to accept campaign contributions. But no candidate officially is on the ballot until qualifying week, which starts Monday for the 2018 local nonpartisan races.
Obleton is running against District 6 incumbent Mark Cantrell and Robert Roth, a retired U.S. Army colonel who 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.
Edmondson is running against Kar-Tunes Car Stereo owner John “Bart” Steed for the District 2 seat, being vacated by incumbent John Thomas, who announced in January he won’t run for a second four-year term.
Tucker is running against District 4 incumbent Naomi Buckner.
Qualifying will run 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.
Obleton is an associate professor of educational leadership at Columbus State University and assistant principal at Russell County High School. He worked for 32 years in the Muscogee County School District, retiring as the chief student services officer in 2010. He previously was MCSD’s secondary education director, principal of Shaw High School and principal of now-closed Marshall Middle School. He began his career as a teacher at Shaw.
Edmondson taught Advanced Placement chemistry and physics in MCSD for 33 years, with stints at Spencer, Hardaway and Northside high schools. His awards include Muscogee County Teacher of the year, Georgia Secondary Schools Science Teacher of the Year and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. He most recently was in the news for trying to raise money to buy the historic but dilapidated Bibb Elementary School from the MCSD board to establish an “iSTEAM center” for science and arts education. But he couldn’t raise the necessary money before Georgia state rep. Earl Davis bought the property last month to most likely convert the building into apartments.
Edmondson had to resign from his part-time administrative job at Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts to launch his campaign because MCSD employees can’t qualify as MCSD board candidates.
Tucker, according to an email to the Ledger-Enquirer from her campaign, is a retired U.S. Air Force noncomissioned officer, a former Family Center of Columbus board member, an NAACP Youth Council adviser, a mentor and a tutor.
The other two seats on the nine-member MCSD board up for election this year have only one announced candidate so far: the at-large seat held by incumbent Kia Chambers, representing the entire county, and the District 8 seat held by Frank Myers, who announced in January along with Thomas he won’t seek re-election. Philip Schley is the only announced District 8 candidate. He is a retired urologist and served on the board for 21 years (1972-81 and 1998-2010), including as chairman for nine years.