Six people qualified for the special called Sumter County Board of Education election for the seats with expired terms. The election will take place March 18. Early and absentee voting continues from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the Sumter Court House through March 14.
Two of the races are contested. In District 1, incumbent Carolyn Whitehead did not seek reelection. Michael D. Williams qualified for the District 1 seat and is running unopposed. He will take office immediately following the election.
Meda Krenson, District 2 incumbent, will retain her seat. She alone qualified for the seat.
Incumbent Willa Fitzpatrick, District 4, is seeking reelection and faces opposition from Patricia Lynn Taft.
Michael Mock — Incumbent District 6
• Occupation: Registered nurse at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
• How long have you served in board: “Since 2008; term of office was actually up in 2012, but we never had an election. The governor appointed us to remain in office.”
• Why should the citizens of District 6 vote for you? “Since 2008; term of office was actually up in 2012, but we never had an election. The governor appointed us to remain in office.”
Why should someone vote for you? “Because I served in multiple capaciitis on on the boards, as vice chairman of board and chairman of the finance committee and chairman of the property committee. I served on all committees except curriculum. The Sumter County School system is solvent; we have money the bank and we’ve not raised school taxes or the millage rate since I’ve been on the board (tax rates have changed because of revaluation of property) but the millage rate has stayed the same.
“I want to see the board get in the right direction again. to focus on education and get out of this mess we’ve been in with the governance of the school board over the last two or three years. We take all our issues, with law suits, accreditation, and trying to get off probation, and the board to head in the right direction in a more in a unified manner.”