Election brings new balance of power to R2

COLUMBIA – There will be four new members on the heretofore embattled Richland 2 School Board.

Angela Nash, a realtor, with 17,975 votes (14%) was the top vote getter.

Tamika Washington, a former teacher, with 17,022 votes (13%) was second, followed by Niki Porter, also a former teacher, with 13,234 votes (10%). Joe Trapp, a Blythewood native who owns a construction business, garnered 12,504 votes (10%) to be the fourth winner.

The top four vote-getters are seated.

The election follows the release last week of the Inspector General’s scathing report of his investigation of the Richland Two board.

Only one current member of the embattled board – Dr. Teresa Holmes, the controversial former board chair – sought re-election  She came in fifth, with 11,998 votes (9%), thereby missing the cut.

The other three board members whose seats were up for re-election this year – Cheryl Caution-Parker, Amelia McKie and James Manning – opted not to run.

Those three and Holmes made up the majority four board members who have generally controlled the meetings for the last couple of years.

During one of the teacher forums, Holmes praised the existing board and superintendent for their work up to this point – and promised more of the same.

Nash and Trapp ran on a ticket with candidates Larry Smalls and Moody McGee, also of Blythewood.

Nash said her top priority is safety and a healthy school environment. Washington said she was most concerned about what she called a teacher staffing crisis. Porter said that she would seek more support for students and teachers. Trapp’s top priorities are safety and achievement.

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