In the last five days before the filing deadline for the 2018 election, an additional six candidates put their name in for a seat on the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County.
In the last five days before the filing deadline for the 2018 election, an additional six candidates put their name in for a seat on the Board of Education of Anne Arundel County.

The Board of Education of Anne Arundel County makes policy and purchasing decisions that impact more than 81,000 children from Brooklyn Park to Shady Side, and the public will vote this year to select who represents those students.

With a Feb. 27 filing deadline, three candidates each have filed to represent councilmanic districts 1, 5 and 7, and four people are running in District 4. The elected school board will have a staggered start — representatives from districts 1, 4, 5 and 7 will be elected this year, and then representatives from 2, 3 and 6 will be elected next year. Three people running are on the board — Terry Gilleland, Julie Hummer and Sidney Butcher.

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It’s the first time since 2000 voters not affiliated with major parties can vote in the primary election. Three or more candidates are running in each district. That means the candidates will be on the ballot this spring, where voters will decide which two non-partisan candidates advance to the general election, in accordance with Maryland election law.

Anne Arundel County Board of Elections Deputy Director David Garreis said the last time unaffiliated voters could vote in a primary in Anne Arundel was 2000, when the Republican party opened primaries across the state to independents. Howard County held a primary election for its school board in 2016, where 13.55 percent of unaffiliated voters cast a ballot, compared to the more than 50 percent of Democratic and Republican voters.

Garreis said voters will receive a sample ballot in the mail.

Dan Nataf is director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College. The challenge with non-partisan school board elections, Nataf said, is they tend to be low budget and candidates struggle with name recognition.

“We’re in for a new experience of trying to understand what the qualifications of these individual candidates are in an honest and open-minded way,” he said.

Heading into the primary, District 7 candidate Michelle Corkadel has the most money at $24,754, according to her 2018 annual report. Corkadel raised the majority of that money in 2017, and her largest contributor was Weaver Boatworks of Tracy’s Landing, which donated $3,000 to her campaign in 2017. Terry Gilleland, who is running for the District 5 seat on the board, had $3,494 listed in his 2018 annual report. His largest contributor in 2017 was Milestone Tower Limited Partnership III, which donated $500. Friends of Nic Kipke also transferred $1,000 from its entity to Gilleland’s. While other candidates have campaign finance committees, they have either recently launched or they reported less than $1,000 in contributions and expenditures between January of 2017 and January of 2018.

Four present board member opted not to run. The terms of long-time board members Patricia Nalley and Stacy Korbelak will end this December. Colin Reinhard’s term also ends in December, 15 months after he was appointed to the body to fill a vacant seat. Eric Grannon’s term expires in December of 2020.

Maria Sasso is the only present board member who couldn’t run this year, as she lives in District 6.

The list of Board of Education candidates and the councilmanic district they could represent:

In District 1: Sidney Butcher, Candace Antwine and David Starr.

In District 4: Melissa Ellis, Julie Hummer and Donna Rober.

In District 5: Uju Elliffe, Terry Gilleland, Vincent Goldsmith and Dana Schallheim.

In District 7: Michelle Corkadel, Laticia Hicks and Ray Leone.

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