3 Montgomery school board primary winners declared, 4 to go to runoff

4 to go to runoff in Montgomery school board election

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Results are in for the Montgomery County Board of Education primaries, with three winners declared and four races going to runoffs.

In the Republican primary for District 2, Ted Lowry received 71 percent of the vote, defeating Larry Lee. Lowry says he is a proven leader who's ready to put his skills to work for Montgomery Public Schools.

"We are going to make schools great, like they were in the 80s, when my kids were in MPS and got a great education," Lowry said.

Brenda DeRamus-Coleman, District 3's Democratic candidate, won with 55 percent of the vote against Philip Ensler's 45 percent. Because there is no Republican opponent to face in November, DeRamus-Coleman has won the District 3 seat.

Jannah Bailey, the Republican candidate in District 5, defeated incumbent Melissa Snowden 61 percent to 39 percent. Bailey said MPS must do better.

"The African-American children in this community are getting a second rate education and we have neglected them," Bailey said. "We are not giving them hope and options."

Going into a runoff will be the District 1, 2, 5 and 6 Democratic races. In District 1, Frederick Turner will face Marcus Vandiver; they received 37 and 35 percent of the vote, respectively.

"I know that the journey's not finished, and we won't stop until it's finished," Vandiver said.

"I'm excited that change is coming and I believe it's better than what we have now," said Turner.

Brenda Irby, who received 42 percent of the vote in District 2, will face Clare Weil, who got 38 percent.

District 5 will see Rhonda Oats against DeVona Sims; Oats narrowly missed a win with 46 percent of the vote, while Sims received 26 percent. The winner of the runoff will face Jannah Bailey in November.

In District 6, Robert Porterfield Jr., with 34 percent of the vote, will face Claudia Mitchell, who got 33 percent. The winner of the District 6 race will win the seat, as there is no Republican candidate to face in November.

Claudia Mitchell wants to be part of the change coming to the board.

"Sometimes your vision can be clouted when you're used to doing the same thing the same way for so long," she said. "I think it's just time for us to get a new perspective. A new attitude so we can collaborate and work together in unity for the benefit of our children."

Porterfield is confident his supporters will keep him on the board.

"Education is everyone's business," Porterfield said. "And it is my desire that we can continue to move forward and provide those necessary tools for our children to be successful."

The runoff elections will be held in July.

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