Voters in Prince George’s County have sent a clear message to the members of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, we value an aggressive approach to governing that requires questioning the superintendent.
In tonight’s elections five of the nine seats on the board were up for election. In four of them incumbents defended themselves against aggressive challengers. Rosalind Johnson who represents District 1 decided not to run for reelection. As of reporting time only Edward Burroughs was winning the top spot despite a challenger who was endorsed by the Washington Post and the teachers union. Burroughs was endorsed by all of the other unions who represent school system employees.
Not only was Burroughs winning in his bid to remain on the board, he was winning big. As of reporting Burroughs led his closest challenger Andrew Nottingham 66% to 15%. This was after a colleague of his, Peggy Higgins, took to the editorial page of the Gazette imploring residents to defeat him. It was also after Burroughs was censored by the rest of the board after investigating parent complaints at a school despite being asked not to by Superintendent Hite. Voters disagreed and tonight are rewarding him with a huge victory.
Burroughs will face off against Nottingham in the November general election as they are the top two winners tonight.
In District 1 David Murray, close friend of Edward Burroughs, also is having a great night. Murray lost in 2010 to incumbent Rosalind Johnson by a few percent and this time without her in the race appears to be on the verge to winning her seat. Murray as of reporting leads Zabrina Epps 55% to 31%. He and Epps will embark on a final face off in November as well after emerging from tonight’s primary.
In District 4 incumbent Patrica Eubanks stands a very good chance of losing her seat. Former Cheverly Councilman Micah Watson leads the field with 33% and two other challengers, former Glenarden Councilman Dennis Smith and Sandy Vaughn are in a close race for second with 21.11% and 20.92% respectively. Eubanks is not far behind with 20.96%. The winner out of those three will face Watson in the November general.
In District 5 Board Chair Jacobs is getting spanked badly by University of Maryland freshman Raaheela Ahmed. Jacobs who is in her second term on the board and fifth as chair is running behind Ahmed with only 25% of the vote compared to her 34%. Fellow Board Member Higgins who implored county voters to reelect Jacobs and defeat Burroughs, Ahmed and Murray campaigned hard for Jacobs and it appears it is not working. Ahmed will have to maintain that led against Jacobs in November when the two face off one-on-one.
In District 7 incumbent Henry Armwood also is losing to newcomer Carletta Fellows by a large amount. Armwood has 24% to Fellows 32%. Fellows has made accountability a theme of her campaign and has taken that message to Armwood for his strong defense of the administration. The two will face each other one-on-one in November.
So all in all the message from tonight is clear, voters expect their board members to ask the tough questions Edward Burroughs has been asking, they demand accountability, and when necessary they hope their representatives will vote against proposals of the superintendent. Those who have worked hard not to do that are seeing the results of that tonight.