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4 candidates jump into Lex-Rich 5 school board race

Ed White

A space for former Lexington-Richland Five trustee Ed White was unoccupied on June 28, 2021 at a meeting where sitting members censured him for resigning without adequate notice. Adam Benson/Staff 

COLUMBIA — Four people will vie to fill the unexpired term of Lexington-Richland Five trustee Ed White, who resigned in protest in June following the departure of former superintendent Christina Melton, according to state election filings.

Candidates for the Oct. 12 election are Tifani Moore, a member of the Dutch Fork Middle School improvement council with three children in the district, district parent and nurse Haley Griggs, University of South Carolina student Joshua Lazenby and Jeff Herring, who campaigned for a seat in 2018 but came up short.

The seats are nonpartisan, so there is no primary election. 

In a news release announcing her candidacy, Griggs said her aim to build the best learning environment while avoiding another round of school shutdowns.

“We must have the best atmosphere for a safe, in-person learning experience without shutting down our schools. Parents and taxpayers expect it and we must deliver it. We will accomplish this together as a board and there is no other option,” she said.

Lazenby is an 18-year-old who graduated from Spring Hill High School in June. He said he entered the race to provide a youth perspective on the board.

“I basically got to witness firsthand the issues that inspired me to run, and that in essence was the disconnect between the actual schools and the board itself,” he said. “I believe that we need people of all ages and backgrounds to be able to successfully run the school board.”

Herring and Moore could not immediately be reached for comment, but in a Facebook statement Moore said her focus is on student and educator support.

"With the challenges and community division during the past year, I want to be a part of the solution," Moore wrote on June 17. "My goal is to bring transparency and sensible decision-making to the school board."

White’s term is set to expire in November 2022. He walked away from the board at a June 14 meeting that included Melton’s departure, accusing his colleagues of brokering a backroom deal to force her out.

Board members denied the allegation and later censured him.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the district’s Richland County portion.

Follow Adam Benson on Twitter @AdamNewshound12.

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