There will be four runoff elections on July 17 for Montgome3ry County school board seats. All are on the Democratic ticket.
District 1 has Fredrick Turner and Marcus Vandiver vying for the opportunity to face Republican incumbent Lesa Keith in November Democrats Brenda Irby and Clare Weil are running in District 2. The winner will face Republican Ted Lowry. In District 5, either Rhonda Oats or Devona Sims will square off against Republican Jannah Bailey in the general election.
And in District 6, incumbent Robert Porterfield faces Claudia Mitchell. Since there is no Republican running, the July 17 winner will be on the board.
Porterfield and Mitchell were neck and neck on June 5. He had 1,553 votes to her 1,525. But financial info from the Secretary of State’s web site shows that Mitchell is now being supported by the group (MGM NXT PAC) wanting a new board. Porterfield has only raised $1,225 in the last two reports–and spent $1,526. He has $390 cash on hand.
However, it’s a very different situation with Mitchell as she has raised $12,958 and spent $4,393 in the same period and has $9,251 in the bank. She got $5,000 from the Alabama Builders PAC, $2,500 from the Alabama Realtors PAC, and $2,500 from Mac McLeod, MayorTodd Strange’s executive assistant. (McLeod also gave $2,500 to MGM NXT PAC. Strange has given $2,000 to this group as well.)
Realtors and homebuilders were also prominent in the primary campaign. Lowry got $1,000 from Alabama Realtors PAC, as well as $1,000 from Montgomery Association of Realtors and $2,500 from Greater Montgomery Homebuilders. Bailey received $5,000 from Alabama Builders and $1,000 from Alabama Realtors. Lowry and Bailey were two of the four candidates endorsed in the primary by MGM NXT PAC. The two others were Weil and Carey Owens in District 5.
About the only thing you can say with certainty about politics is that there are always things that happen that can’t be easily explained. This is definitely the case in the Democrat race in District 2 between Irby and Weil. Irby is very much a “mystery” candidate. I never met her in the primary. She was not at any of the candidate forums I attended. Nor did she file paperwork showing she raised or spent $1,000.
Yet, she led the Democrat ticket with 42 percent of the vote, compared to 38 percent for Weil, who raised $13,330 and spent $10,203.
Oats had a substantial lead over Sims on June 5, 46 percent to 26 percent Like Irby, Sims has not reached the $1,000 threshold to file a financial statement. Oats shows raising $320 in her last two reports and spending $539.
Turner and Vandiver were very competitive on June 5 with Turner getting 37 percent and Vandiver 35 percent. One of them will face Keith in November, who had no primary opposition.
District 3 was decided on June 5 when Brenda Deramus Coleman defeated Philip Ensler. Coleman will replace Eleanor Dawkins, who did not seek re-election.
The board presently has four Democrats and three Republicans. Regardless of what happens July 17, the next board will still have at least four Democrats. As of July 3, MGM NXT PAC has spent $84,091 on their effort to dramatically impact the composition of the MPS board. And while District 2 (Durden Dean) and District 3 (Eleanor Dawkins) are both getting new members because of resignations, the jury is still out on what the return on investment by the political action committee will be.