Two incumbents are competing with five newcomers for three open school board seats in Dorchester District 2, one of the state's fastest-growing school districts, and Berkeley County candidates have another month to think about running.

Board Chairman Bo Blanton and Secretary Carolyn Howard filed for the November election by the noon Tuesday deadline, the county election board reported. They will compete for the open seats in a districtwide election.

Longtime board member Bill Reeves planned to run for re-election in November but died June 17 after heart surgery, leaving his seat open.

The board's major challenge will be coping with growth in the district, which added more than 900 students a year over the last several years and expects about 600 new students in the fall.

Everyone agrees the district needs more schools, even though three new schools opened last year and a new high school will open this summer. Earlier this year, board members considered a referendum to borrow money for new schools but never moved forward with the idea. The idea lost some steam after Dorchester County Council enacted and then extended a moratorium on major new developments in District 2.

There's no chance a referendum will be on the ballot in November, District Public Information Officer Pat Raynor said. The deadline is Aug. 15, and nobody is talking about it, she said. The board will schedule a workshop later this month to talk about the most-pressing growth needs, she said.

Five other candidates also filed for the November election. They are:

--Jay Byars of Brandywine Drive, a mortgage banker and former teacher and baseball coach.

--Barbara Crosby of Moon Dance Lane, a teacher at Sangaree Elementary School in Berkeley County.

--Michael Hess of Prestwick Court, who investigates insurance claims.

--Patrick C. Labbe of Lebsl Court, a registered nurse.

--Lisa H. Tupper of Tupper Lane, a bookkeeper for the construction company of her husband, Jordy Tupper, who is on the Summerville Commission of Public Works.

The election is nonpartisan and districtwide, so the three candidates who get the most votes will win the three open seats.

Three seats also are open in Dorchester District 4. All three incumbents filed for re-election without opposition. They are Tony Folk, James Hodges and Kenneth Jenkins.

Berkeley County School Board candidates have until Aug. 15 to file, county Board of Elections and Voter Registration Director Wanda Farley said. Four seats are open, and nobody has filed yet, she said. Candidates are elected by district, and the open seats are in Districts 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Reach Dave Munday at 745-5862 or