The three Jefferson County Board of Education district races have been called and they include candidates with similar views for improving student achievement.
In the closest race, Chuck Haddaway beat his three District 4 opponents — one backed by the Jefferson County Teacher’s Association — to represent areas of southwestern Jefferson County.
The final tally was down to three candidates, Melissa “Missy” Smith (27 percent of the vote) and Lloyd “Chip” White (28 percent of the vote), who was backed by the teacher’s union. Haddaway earned 33 percent—or 9,554 votes — from 80 precincts.
The largest marginal victory came in District 2, where David Jones Jr. earned 49 percent of votes from 106 precincts. The next closest candidate was Elizabeth Berfield with 25 percent of the vote.
Jones is the former Humana board chairman and owns a venture capital firm. In his campaign, he expressed his support for the JCPS student assignment plan and he supports the board’s decision to increase taxes this year.
Jones told WFPL Tuesday night that his business experience will be a plus.
“The voters understand that this $1.1 billion organization is about a whole lot more than any one magic bullet solution and that it just needs to be managed,” he said.
The next steps, said Jones, will be to talk to JCPS staff, which was not allowed during the campaign.
Local attorney Teddy Gordon has threatened to sue if Jones is elected. He contests that Jones prior and current business interests are a conflict of interest with acting on the school board.
Jones remains confident that will not be an obstacle for serving on the board.
In District 7, candidate Chris Brady won by a margin with 35 percent of the votes from 80 precincts.
Brady was endorsed by the Jefferson County Teacher’s Association and also supports recent decisions by the school board, including a tax increase and changes to the student assignment plan.
Over the next few months he said he’ll continue conversations with the community which he began while campaigning.
“My main focus is to listen and learn form the existing board members and listening and learning, continuing to do that, from our community,” he said.
Brady said the district has a lot of work to do to improve student achievement and graduation rates.