The Mobile County School Board of School Commissioners will have new face as of November following Robert Edward Battles Sr.’s defeat of incumbent Tracie Roberson in District 4.
Battles took home 58 percent of the vote in the June 3 Democratic primary race, with 2,604 ballots cast in his favor.
He thanked the voters who turned out in his district and said he wanted to make this a good tenure.
“I really have a vision to change the whole framework of the politics in District 4,” Battles said. “It’s so diverse. All the citizens of the district need to feel the impact of their commissioner — without regard to race, color, creed or ethnicity.”
Battles said his first order of business is taking a comprehensive look at the situations facing Mobile County Schools.
“I have set up an appointment to meet with Superintendent Martha Peek on Friday,” he said. “From there, I’ll try to get some direction so I can go in and make a real difference.”
Roberson, who received 1,873 votes, was appointed to the board last November to fill the vacancy left by City Councilor Levon Manzie.
Roberson also serves a member of the Mobile Planning Commission. Before the election, she said she wouldn’t step down from that position regardless of the election’s outcome.
In District 3, Board President Dr. Reginald Crenshaw retained his seat by defeating challenger Dr. Henry W. Roberts II.
Crenshaw won the race decidedly with 4,627 votes to Roberts’ 1,592.
Now that his seat is secure, Crenshaw wants to work on continuing to improve the graduation rates and decreasing the dropout rates in Mobile County.
District 3 includes Mattie T. Blount High School, which had a four-year graduation rate of 59 percent in 2012, and C.F. Vigor High School, at 75 percent in 2012.
“It was hard work, and I had very good supporters,” Crenshaw said. “As always, the children are first. I’m looking forward to serving six more years.”