Local News

July 10, 2014

Murray school board candidates make their pitches

Hendrix rallies voters

CHATSWORTH — With two contested races, the Murray County Board of Education could see a shakeup come November.

Two men hoping to do some of the shaking met with voters Thursday to make their cases for their election. Tim Howard and David Long, both Democrats, were on hand for a Meet & Greet hosted by the Murray County Democratic Party at the Charles “Judy” Poag Senior Citizen Center.

Howard, a retired schoolteacher, is challenging Republican Heath Jones for the District 6 seat. Incumbent Brenda Sandlin, a Republican, did not qualify for re-election.

Howard told those in attendance that his more than 30 years of experience in the Murray County school system provide him with an insight that will help improve the district.

“I have spent my entire life in the Murray County system. This is a way in which I can continue to do good. I believe I can contribute some knowledge and expertise that would allow the school system to continue heading in the right direction,” he said. “I can help the students and staff as they deal with the many changes coming from the state level. We can make progress.”

Howard said his priorities include restoring programs — like elective classes — that have been lost to budget cuts, and supporting the creation of a Murray County Schools foundation to fund various projects throughout the system.

Long said he believes the Murray County system needs to make great strides going forward, and he wants to help. He faces incumbent Republican Jackie Rogers in District 7.

“From my perspective, as a parent, a lot of times our educators’ hands are tied by directives from the state and here, locally. We have a lot of great kids that deserve better than what we’re giving them,” he said. “I think, as a community, we can do a lot better. We don’t have to maintain the status quo.”

Long identified school safety — pointing out that he did not believe guns in schools are the answer — as a focal point of his platform.

He also advocated for a greater amount of transparency among school administrators, and increased influence of parents and community members on the direction the system takes.

Both races will be settled in the General Election, which will be held Tuesday, Nov.  4.

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