County school board district left without candidates

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

  
A lack of candidates running for Carter County's 8th Educational District seat has pushed the office from the county general election ballot in August to the state and federal ballot in November.
   Thursday was the deadline for political party affiliates or independent candidates to file candidacy papers with the Carter County Election Commission office. No citizens filed to run for the 8th District seat currently held by Steve Chambers, who announced his decision not to seek re-election at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. Chambers has served on the school board since 1990.
   The lack of candidates means the 8th District seat will be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot. If no candidates file for that election, the Carter County Commission will be tasked with appointing a board member from the district.
   The county's 1st, 4th and 6th educational districts also have seats up for election this year. Sitting 4th District school board member Daniel Holder filed his candidacy papers for re-election as did 4th District representative Bobby McClain. The two incumbents are running unopposed.
   Chambers is not the only sitting BOE member who decided not to seek re-election this year. Ernest "Gebe" Ritchie of the 1st District said Friday he would not run for another term. Ritchie said the County Commission's recent decision to build a new school for the Stoney Creek area realized his goal since he was elected to the BOE in 1990.
   "We'd been promised a new school on Stoney Creek and I think that was a good goal," said Ritchie.
   He said he expected to continue a good relationship with the school system and appreciated the support he had received from the community. "I feel I've done what I set out to do," he said. "I feel I have served my purpose."
   Dale Colbaugh and Wayne Pierce filed candidacy papers to challenge for Ritchie's seat, according to the
  Election Commission office.