Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RISD Election: Put the Popcorn Away

The deadline to file to run as as candidate for the school board of the Richardson ISD (RISD) was March 1. It turns out that wasn't the only deadline of consequence. Another was March 4, the deadline to withdraw. One candidate who had filed to run withdrew in that three day period. Why didn't he withdraw before the March 1 filing deadline? The more you know about the candidate, the less surprised you ought to be.

After the jump, the disappearing candidate.



First, here's the ballot for the May 11, 2013, RISD school board election.
  • Place 3: Kris Oliver (incumbent)
  • Place 4:
    • Lanet Greenhaw (incumbent)
    • Bonnie Abadie
    • Rachel Chumney
  • Place 5: Karen Holburn (incumbent)
Until Monday, Kris Oliver had an opponent, George Clayton. In a recent blog post, I called it the one interesting race. That's because George Clayton is an unconventional candidate who continually finds ways to make campaign watchers ask, "Is this any way to run a campaign?" Clayton came out of nowhere in 2010 to upset longtime State Board of Education member Tincy Miller in the GOP primary. In 2012, he announced he wouldn't run for re-election to the SBOE, but instead would run against Rep. Angie Chen Button in House District 112, only to drop out of that race when the courts threw out the state legislature's partisan gerrymandering and Clayton discovered he didn't live within the district's boundaries. So, he went back to running for re-election to his SBOE seat, only to be buried in a big loss in the GOP primary, as Tincy Miller reclaimed the seat. Now, in 2013, he filed to run for the RISD school board, only to withdraw just before the deadline. Is this any way to run a campaign?

That leaves Place 4 the only contested race, with three candidates. On the surface, that makes the race look interesting, but is there any substance below the surface? The two candidates challenging long-time incumbent Lanet Greenhaw are unknowns, at least to me. As far as I know, they have little or no involvement in school activities -- PTA, booster clubs, local school council, textbook adoption committee, budget review team, etc. It's hard to start at the top, and for school districts, it doesn't get any more "top" than the board of trustees. So, these candidates have to be considered extreme long shots. The election campaign might have a surprise in store, but I'm not popping any corn.

8 comments:

Rachel Chumney said...

Mark: this is Rachel Chumney, one of the “unknowns” running for Place 4 on the RISD Board of Trustees - https://www.facebook.com/RachelChumneyforRISD. I really enjoy your blog and its focus on Richardson. Keep up the good work! I do, however, disagree with your assessment of the Place 4 race. This race is going to be competitive, and I assure you there is plenty of “substance” to my campaign. I may be a political newcomer, but I firmly believe that a fresh voice and new perspective is exactly what is needed to make RISD stronger.

School board members are the largest group of elected officials in the U.S., so I’m not sure this is starting at the “top.” You may not know me yet, but I invite you to visit my Facebook page (which is up now) and my website – rachelchumney.com (which will be up soon) to learn more about my qualifications, experience and vision.

I will say here, however, that I am passionate about RISD. I am educated. I am an active volunteer at my school. I have founded a neighborhood association and have spearheaded grant-seeking projects for my neighbors. Perhaps most importantly, I am an engaged parent of 3 children in RISD and have an intimate knowledge of the frustrations parents have with RISD. I firmly believe parents of our district do not currently have enough of a voice in RISD.

My incumbent opponent has 15 long years of service on the Board which I admire and salute, but I do think it is time for a new voice. One of the strengths of our political system is that the power of ideas can often trump the advantages of the experienced and entrenched. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and further discuss my candidacy and ideas – I’ll even bring the popcorn!

Before leaving you with the following relevant quotation, I want to thank you again for the wit and analysis of The Wheel and your commitment to exploring the issues facing our City and RISD.

“Democracy … is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.” – Plato.

Rachel Chumney said...

Mark: this is Rachel Chumney, one of the “unknowns” running for Place 4 on the RISD Board of Trustees – https://www.facebook.com/RachelChumneyforRISD. I really enjoy your blog and its focus on Richardson. Keep up the good work! I do, however, disagree with your assessment of the Place 4 race. This race is going to be competitive, and I assure you there is plenty of “substance” to my campaign. I may be a political newcomer, but I firmly believe that a fresh voice and new perspective is exactly what is needed to make RISD stronger.

School board members are the largest group of elected officials in the U.S., so I’m not sure this is starting at the “top.” You may not know me yet, but I invite you to visit my Facebook page (which is up now) and my website – rachelchumney.com (which will be up soon) to learn more about my qualifications, experience and vision.

I will say here, however, that I am passionate about RISD. I am educated. I am an active volunteer at my school. I have founded a neighborhood association and have spearheaded grant-seeking projects for my neighbors. Perhaps most importantly, I am an engaged parent of 3 children in RISD and have an intimate knowledge of the frustrations parents have with RISD. I firmly believe parents of our district do not currently have enough of a voice in RISD.

My incumbent opponent has 15 long years of service on the Board which I admire and salute, but I do think it is time for a new voice. One of the strengths of our political system is that the power of ideas can often trump the advantages of the experienced and entrenched. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and further discuss my candidacy and ideas – I’ll even bring the popcorn!

Before leaving you with the following relevant quotation, I want to thank you again for the wit and analysis of The Wheel and your commitment to exploring the issues facing our City and RISD.

“Democracy … is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.” – Plato.

Mark Steger said...

Rachel Chumney, thank you for your response. I look forward to hearing your ideas on how to improve education in the RISD.

Mark Steger said...

George Clayton tells The Dallas Morning News that the reason he dropped out of the RISD school board race is to run for the State Board of Education (SBOE). Well, OK, then. Go back to the links above to read about his head-scratching campaign the last time he ran for SBOE and decide for yourself whether this explanation helps or hurts his image.

crobs808 said...

Just voted for Rachel Chumney.

crobs808 said...

Just voted for you Rachel Chumney. Don't dissapoint.

crobs808 said...

Just voted for Rachel Chumney.

Mark Steger said...

There will be a runoff election between Rachel Chumney and Lanet Greenhaw.