October 27, 2012

Unopposed candidate withdraws

Murray County Board of Education position will need special election

The District 1 seat for the Murray County Board of Education will not be decided on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Colvard Joe Park, 74, was the only Republican to qualify for the position, and no Democrat qualified, so Park faced no opposition, but he told the Murray County Board of Election earlier this month that he was withdrawing because of health reasons.

Park was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few months ago, and his wife Virginia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier this year.

“I had to put her in a nursing home,” said Park. “(The doctors) told me ... it would be best and so I did it, but it broke my heart.”

He said he withdrew because he cannot “put 100 percent into the position.”

A special election to fill the position will be held around March, officials with the elections office said.

If he had not withdrawn, Park would have succeeded Alan Kendrick, who was appointed to the position last March when Rick Mallett resigned because he moved out of the district. Kendrick will hold the seat until January. It was not immediately known if he will hold the seat until someone else wins it in the special election.

Park said whoever does win the position needs a “sincere heart.”

“They need to have the time to give his whole heart into this,” said Park. “You’ve got to have a love for children, and you need to keep taxes down for our economy.”

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