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Voters choose at least 2 new members for Franklin County School Board
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Voters choose at least 2 new members for Franklin County School Board

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Seven candidates vied for four seats on the Franklin County School Board on Tuesday night. Out of the four seats, two of them were contested. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, it appears that there will be at least two new members of the board. 

Member-At-Large

The race for the countywide member-at-large seat pitted incumbent Penny Blue against challenger Kevin David. The member-at-large seat is unique in that it is the only one out of the eight-member School Board that is elected countywide. 

While Blue, a Union Hall resident, and David, a Penhook resident, both come from farming families, their experience and outlook when it comes to the running of the division differ.

Blue, 61, earned degrees in math, computer science and business administration. She worked as a project executive at IBM before returning to the county. Since that time, she has worked as a substitute teacher. She has served on the board since 2013. During a video recorded earlier this year by The Roanoke Times, Blue said, "I believe my voice is needed on the board."

David, 50, owned his own landscaping business before returning to school in pursuit of a medical degree. He is now a primary care physician in Martinsville. He told The Roanoke Times during a video recorded earlier this year, "I really have a vested interest in what's going on in the county and school system."

With 25 of the county's 26 precincts reporting at 11 p.m. Tuesday, David beat Blue by a considerable margin. David received 64.26%. Blue received 33.85%.

Snow Creek District

Despite the fact that three candidates vied for the Snow Creek District seat, none of their names appeared on the ballot. All three-G.B. Washburn, Carletta Whiting and Gregory Maxwell-ran as write in candidates.  

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Write in results will be determined once canvassing is completed. According to the Franklin County Voter Registrar's Office, canvassing will begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 3.

Incumbent G.B. Washburn Jr., 57, has been director of the federal Farm Service Agency in Franklin County for more than 30 years. The Snow Creek resident has served for 26 years on the board. “We need to pour any and all resources we need into the elementary, pre-K through third grade curriculum and instructions and teachers,” he told The Roanoke Times earlier this year.

Whiting, a Philadelphia native, moved to Franklin County in 2018. The 50-year-old resident of Snow Creek holds a degree in business management. During an interview with The Roanoke Times earlier this year, she said, "We've long passed segregation and I feel like they are slowly but surely trying to push that back into the school system."  

Maxwell, 36, is a U.S. Navy veteran and information technology specialist. The Sontag resident holds degrees in advance electronics and business. He told The Roanoke Times earlier this year that he has grown dissatisfied with the school system because it seems to be more focused on politics than education. "We actually took financial classes when I was in school," he said. "They don't have any of that anymore."

Rocky Mount District

Jeff Worley, the current vice chair of the board, ran unopposed for his second term representing the Rocky Mount district. The 52-year-old Rocky Mount resident holds a degree in psychology. He works as a sales and service clerk for the U.S. Post Office. "I strongly believe in our public school system," he said during a recording with The Roanoke Times earlier this year. "I want to support it as much as I can." 

With five out of six precincts reporting, Worley at 85.12% of the vote as of 11 p.m. Tuesday. 

Boone District 

Dawn McCray, 48, ran unopposed to replace Donna Cosmato, who decided not to seek reelection. The Boones Mill resident holds degrees in professional communications and technical writing and occupational and technical studies. She works as senior management over legal services and compliance for a Roanoke dental insurance company. "I've always valued education and I think that now is the right time to lean in and serve my community," she said in a video recorded by The Roanoke Times earlier this year. 

With five out of the six precincts reporting, McCray had 98.01% of the vote as of 11 p.m. Tuesday. 

 

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