School board campaigns, typically low-key, have been generating attention this year.
The campaign in Richland 2, with 12 contestants vying for four seats, has generated the most heat. The entrance of eight minority candidates among the 12 could signal a change from a majority white board to a majority black board, reflecting the racial makeup of the district. There are now four white members and three black members. Candidates include incumbents Melinda Anderson, James Manning and Barbara Specter, and challengers Cheryl Caution-Washington, Chandra Cleveland-Jennings, John Dublin, Hugh Harmon, Paul Manville, Amelia McKie, James Mobley, Craig Plank and Robert Taylor.
In Richland 1, three candidates, Dwayne Smiling, Aaron Bishop and Beatrice King, are unopposed.
In neighboring Lexington County, voters will make choices Tuesday on replacements for retiring incumbents in Lexington 2 and Lexington 4 while filling a post in Lexington-Richland 5 vacant for 18 months in a dispute over the residency of one board member.
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There will be new faces on boards in Lexington County. The Lexington-Richland 5 board will go back to full strength as a successor is chosen for anti-tax crusader Kim Murphy, ousted 18 months ago in a residency dispute. And voters will choose replacements for retiring incumbents in Lexington 2 and Lexington 4.