Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A closer look at BOE District Eight

One of the reasons I like non-partisan elections is the work you have to do to get to know the candidates seeking office. One of the areas I've been looking at is with regard to some of the school board races, and most of those are pretty clean-cut for me when it comes to who I'd get behind (i.e. not Vernon Payne or Charles Worthy).

An interesting one, however, is the District Eight matchup between Chinami Goodie and David Huff. Goodie declared her intentions for the seat vacated by Sidney Anne Waters early in the process with Huff coming in later in the qualifying stage.

Goodie's issues page is, well, kinda thin. I'd like a little more specifics from her, and I plan on contacting her to see if she can expand on some areas for me (and I'll do the same for Huff too). What does impress me, though, is Goodie's stated goal to be an open, engaged and responsive member of the Clarke County Board of Education. That alone would be vastly better than most of the existing cast of characters.

Huff's are equally as muddled in some areas ('increase graduation rates' ... awesome, but how?), but he does go into a little more depth about what his goals and vision is. After visiting his web site, one has a better gauge of where he wants to go, and it's definitely a more efficient school district with efforts targeted toward certain underperforming populations.

I've heard very good things about Goodie from a variety of folks from all sorts of ideological persuasions from the Eastside. That said, I've seen a more visible presence from the Huff campaign with regard to signage and hand-out materials.

An interesting caveat I uncovered in some research is that Huff's voting history has bounced all over the place. He voted in the Republican presidential preference primaries in 2008 and 2000, as well as the Republican general primary in 2008. He voted in some Democratic general primaries too, but three of them (1998, 2002 and 2004) came during a time prior to non-partisan elections, meaning you voted Democrat if you wanted a say in local politics.

If I had a guess, I'd venture to say that Huff appears to be someone who leans right, but may qualify as being a centrist. Arguably, though, Republicans running in Athens-Clarke - rightly or wrongly - don't fair too well.


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