McDONOUGH — Though the non-partisan school board campaigns are considered the least heated of the ballot issues in Henry County, officials expect many residents will vote on the respective Henry County Board of Education elections as their top issue.
“Voters come out for different reasons,” said Janet Shellnutt, director of Henry County Elections and Registration. “People are very concerned about the school board as much as they are the Board of Commissioners races. I think that it’s equal in that you’re going to find as many people interested in the BOE as are interested in the BOC.”
With one seat open, and two other incumbent spots being contested, the five-member school board could have a dramatically different cast of leaders in 2013.
Shellnutt said she has not seen as much anti-government sentiment as she has this election season. She said she is hopeful the motivated populace will turn out to vote Tuesday.
“I would love to see at least 30,000 people [of the 138,000 registered active voters in Henry County],” said Shellnutt.
The elections director noted that her office, in 21 days of early voting, surpassed early-voting counts recorded in 2008 and 2010.
Voters are being asked to choose between school board candidates running for seats in three Henry County districts — District 1, District 2, and District 3.
Locust Grove resident John Dewberry is going up against incumbent Pam Nutt, also of Locust Grove, for her long-held District 1 seat. McDonough residents Michael Griffin and Nichelle Wiggins are competing for the District 3 seat as incumbent Charles Vickery, of McDonough, seeks re-election.
Four others are seeking the school board’s District 2 seat, which remains vacant after Brian Preston resigned as chair of the school board in February to fill the District 2 seat of the Henry County Board of Commissioners.
Those vying to fill his vacated seat are Hampton residents Josh Hinton, Reginald Ponder, and Taqua Thrasher, and Stockbridge resident Larry Stanley. Hampton resident Ben Sosby has withdrawn his District 2 school board candidacy, according to Shellnutt.
Shellnutt encourages residents to be educated when they go to the polls.
“They need to do their homework and know who they are voting for,” she said.
For more, visit the Henry County Elections and Registration web site at www.co.henry.ga.us/Registrars.