Leader Blues

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TOP STORY > >Ray says he’ll fight teachers if he’s elected

Leader senior staff writer

Reedie Ray, a last-minute challenger to incumbent Gwen Williams on the Pulaski County school board, said Tuesday that he was fully registered. He submitted 21 signatures, with 20 signatures of qualified voters needed.

Ray served one term on the PCSSD School Board when he was elected 14 years ago and lost to Williams after he lost support of PACT—the Pulaski County Association of Classroom Teachers. PACT this week en-dorsed Williams, which he said was no surprise.

To win the election, he has to “beat the teachers,” he said.

Ray said he would champion a stand-alone Jacksonville school district if elected and try to get the district to work harder toward getting unitary status.

“I don’t think they are working hard enough to get it,” he said. “Judge (William) Wilson is going to have to say it didn’t work,” and shut the district down, he said.

Williams, who has worked consistently on behalf of the teachers and the support staff union and members, has served 12 years on the board.

Election commissioner Susan Inman said Ray’s petition had been found sufficient by the Pulaski County clerk’s office.
In Lonoke, there are two school board seats open, but no challengers.

Mike Brown, director of the Lonoke Community Center, seeks reelection without opposition.

Chris James, president of the Lonoke Chamber of Commerce, is running unopposed for the seat held by Miles Lilly in the absence of Jimmy Threet, who moved out of the district and resigned.

James works for Central Arkan-sas Planning and Development District, which is headquartered in Lonoke.