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DeKalb County School Board District 2 election headed to a runoff in June

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DeKalb County School Board District 2 election headed to a runoff in June

Candice McKinley (left) and Whitney McGinniss (right) will face off in the June 21 runoff election for the DeKalb County School Board District 2 seat.

DeKalb County, GA — Candice McKinley and Whitney McGinniss are heading to a runoff election for the District 2 seat on the DeKalb County School Board.

Any race where the top two candidates didn’t get more than 50% of the vote is headed to a runoff on June 21. Results of the May 24 election will be certified on May 31.

The winner of this election with fill the seat of DeKalb County School Board member Marshall Orson, who did not run for reelection to the school board, but is in a runoff election for the District 2 seat on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners.

McKinley received 29.41% of the vote and McGinniss received 27.62% of the vote. Steven Bowden won 23.65% and Wendy Hamilton won 19.31% of the votes cast.

“I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support and attention given to the DeKalb County School Board-District [2] race,” McKinley said. “I would like to thank everyone who believed in my vision for our students. I know for sure that I am on the right path to ensure that all students in DeKalb have access to a high-quality education. I am laser-focused on working collectively with students, families, and staff/administrators in order to have safe and secure schools, financial transparency, and a well-functioning School Board. I appreciate the other candidates who stepped up for our children and hope to work together in the future. Poised and ready to serve.”

McKinley is running for the school board because it’s imperative that all students are given the opportunity to access an excellent education, she said in her candidate Q&A. Her top three priorities include school safety and wellbeing, equity and justice, and financial transparency for innovation.

“School Safety and Well-Being: Our schools in District #2 need immediate attention to ensure they are safe places for our students/teachers/staff,” McKinley said in her Q&A. “The attention must be on both operational upgrades and intentionality to social and emotional supports inside our schools. When our students/staff come into spaces that are not safe and do not feel safe due to wellness challenges from COVID-19, other mental health issues, or ineffective discipline policies –there is a dire problem. We must act now. Equity and Justice: The way to true equity is speaking openly and honestly about the inequalities that persist in our schools. When we do not have courageous conversations with those who may not look like us or embody our beliefs– we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our students. In the last two years, we have experienced a vicious health pandemic as well as a social justice reckoning that has drastically changed how we live and how our students learn. Financial Transparency for Innovation: You know where the priority is when you know where the money is spent. We must be fiscally responsible with our students’ funds. We must use state, local, and federal dollars for sustainable and long-term growth of our District.”

McGinniss added that it was a close race with several strong candidates, as seen by the four-way split in the vote.

“I am honored by and grateful for the support I’ve earned in the community through my previous school advocacy work. I am looking forward to the continued opportunity to fight for better conditions in our schools, increased transparency on the school board, and critical supports for our teachers and students as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” McGinniss said.

In her candidate Q&A, McGinniss said she is running for the school board because she believes that a strong public school system is vital to the health of the economy and democracy.

Her top three priorities are related to COVID-19, diversity, equity and inclusion, and building construction and maintenance.

“COVID-19 Safety and Recovery* As we move beyond COVID-19, it is important to acknowledge that our children have suffered emotionally, socially, and academically over the last two years,” McGinniss said in her Q&A. “If elected, I will push for programs designed to address the student wellness and academic gaps created by COVID-19. I will also prioritize in-person leaning and ensuring that our schools are safe for students and teachers. *Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion* DCSD is one of the most diverse districts in the nation – a majority-minority school district and home to students from more than 155 different countries. This diversity is one of our unique gifts, but it also presents special challenges. I believe that all children deserve the opportunity to succeed, regardless their zip code, race, ethnicity, household income, LGBTQ+ identity, immigration or disability status. *Building Construction and Maintenance* I speak more about this priority in other sections, but District 2 has some of the oldest and poorest-scoring school buildings within the DCSD system. I am the only candidate in this race with a proven record of bringing needed repairs to our older schools.”

To view the full Q&As for both candidates, click here.

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