Race for Lockridge’s Seat Begins
(Washington Examiner) — Eight candidates have filed with Washington’s election board to run for the Ward 8 school board position that is vacant due to the death of William Lockridge. Ward 8 residents Phil Pannell, Michael Matthew, W. Cardell Shelton, Trayon White, Larry Pretlow II, R. Joyce Scott and Sandra Vonciel Williams have filed documents with the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics to run for Lockridge’s spot on the State Board of Education. The candidates come from various backgrounds and age ranges but all it would seem are interested in moving the ward’s public schools forward. “This is an opportunity to run for a rare vacancy on the board of education,” Pretlow, 21, said. “This is a great chance because I am not running against an incumbent.” The deadline for filing petitions with the elections board for the Ward 8 position is Wed., Feb. 16. The election will be held on Tue., April 26, along with the Ward 4 Board of Education race and the at-large contest for the D.C. Council. Pretlow, a student at Strayer University in Northwest, said that if he is elected, he wants vocational education to be more available in Ward 8 schools.
“A lot of students do not want or cannot go to college,” said Pretlow, a student who was home-schooled by his mother who was an educator. “Ward 8 schools have a high drop-out rate and I think if you have more vocational classes, people can stay in school and learn a trade so they can have money in their pockets.” Shelton, 80, said he is running because he is the best person for the job. “I am the one who can do the most for young people,” Shelton, a longtime community activist, said. “If I am elected, I will work to improve the schools and not scratch other people’s backs for favors and look to get a paycheck. I know the people in this community and I know what they need.”