Although the novel coronavirus forced the cancelations of hundreds of meetings, community forums and outdoor activities this month in Prince George’s County, the primary election remains in effect.
Education remains one of the major topics in the county as schools remain closed with distance learning beginning this week. That’s why Progressive Maryland announced its endorsement for four of the five county school board candidates running in the June 2 primary.
“It is crucial that we elect local leaders who value equitable funding and distribution of resources, along with eradicating the school-to-prison pipeline,” Larry Stafford, executive director for Progressive Maryland, said in a statement. “We have selected candidates who we trust will ensure that families, students and educators share the responsibility of maintaining a safe and supportive school environment in which all students can thrive.”
Three of the candidates — Vice Chair Edward Burroughs III (District 8), David Murray (District 1) and Raaheela Ahmed (District 5) — are running unopposed.
The primary ballot shows Burroughs would face a challenger, Gary Lee Falls, a registered Republican, in the Nov. 3 general election.
The fourth endorsement isn’t for one of the other incumbents, but for Shayla Adams-Stafford in District 4, which encompasses schools such as Ardmore Elementary in Springdale, Thomas Johnson Middle in Lanham and Charles H. Flowers High in Springdale.
According to a biography on her campaign website, Adams-Stafford works as a history teacher and instructional coach in D.C. She also runs a nonprofit organization called RemixEducation, which seeks to provide resources for first-generation college students.
She seeks to replace current board member Bryan Swann, who was sworn in in January after the appointment by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. Swann currently works as deputy director of the Office of Financial Management for the U.S. Department of Treasury. He formerly worked for the Obama administration.
The ballot shows three other candidates running for the District 4 seat: Mohammed Ali, a math and science professor at Prince George’s Community College, Trina D. Brown and Alethia J. Simmons.
School board member K. Alexander Wallace seeks reelection for his District 7, which represents schools such as Princeton Elementary in Suitland, Andrew Jackson Academy in Forestville and Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High in Upper Marlboro.
Wallace, a former legislative and constituent aide for the late state Sen. Ulysses Currie, works as a finance manager for DARCARS Automotive.
The other two candidates seeking the District 7 seat are Kenneth F. Harris II and Alexis Nicole Branch, a 2019 graduate from who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The top two vote-getters in the District 4 and 7 races will advance to the general election.
School board races are nonpartisan and registered voters can participate in both the primary and general elections.