The race for the District 2 seat on the Baldwin County Board of Education is already set for a November vote because the candidates from both parties are unopposed in the June 5 primary. Andrea Lindsey is the Republican on the ballot and will face Democrat Clyde Jones.
But that doesn’t mean there’s not a little controversy stirring in this race to replace Republican David Tarwater, who is not seeking re-election. Tarwater’s choice to take his seat caused some consternation among his former fellow Republicans.
In March, Tarwater received a letter from Republican Executive Committee Chairman Michael Hoyt saying Tarwater was dismissed from the party for supporting Jones as his replacement.
“I have always considered a school board member’s position as the ‘Children’s Seat’ and as such have put the children of Baldwin County over politics and will continue to do so as an elected official until my term ends in November,” he said. “I will choose candidates who have always chosen to support solutions that allow for the best educational opportunities for our students.”
The race will pit Lindsey, a retired schoolteacher, against Jones, a retired Army first sergeant currently employed as a training manager at FMC Agriculture Solutions.
Lindsey has lived in Baldwin County for 33 years after growing up in Montgomery. This is her first run for public office.
“I love my community and I want to continue to serve Daphne in the area of education,” Lindsey said. “I feel I am uniquely qualified for this position because I have been a classroom teacher for 23 years and served as a teacher representative in my school.”
Jones is a native of Charles City, Virginia, and moved to Baldwin County in 2013 to work for DuPont. He is also an associate minister at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Daphne.
“I’m running because the quality of our public schools is the key to making Daphne a better place to live for every child and every family,” Jones said.
Growth is affecting every facet of life in Baldwin County and acutely felt as student populations grow. Lindsey said addressing this will have to be a priority for the Baldwin County Board of Education.
“I would like to work on improving school safety, increasing student services, addressing growth concerns, tackling attendance issues and continuing to improve academic excellence,” Lindsey said. “I believe growth is our number one challenge driver in Baldwin County.”
Jones said he believes work is needed on schools in Daphne and wants to see teachers grow through professional development.
“I want to see a major renovation at Daphne High, the oldest high school facility in the county, and more funding for teacher training so that every student benefits from improvements being made in instruction and the use of technology,” Jones said.
School board members are elected to six-year terms and only two of the seats are up for election this year. The District 1 seat is also up for grabs and will be decided between Republican Michael Johnson and Democrat Heather Karras.