Second District 1 hopeful launching write-in campaign
A second resident in New Kent’s District 1 is launching a write-in campaign in next November’s special election for the district’s seat on the county School Board.
Corey Blunt, a county native and former school system employee, announced a write-in bid last week. He says he has the backing of Stacy Simmons, who last held the elected post.
Simmons resigned last fall after moving out of the district, and the board appointed Van McPherson to fill the position until next fall’s special election. McPherson has declined to run.
Blunt, 21 and single, is a 2006 graduate of New Kent High School. He previously served as an instructional assistant at Watkins Elementary and worked with pre-school at a local day care center. He serves as a substitute teacher in Hanover County schools and has hired on as a camp counselor this summer for Henrico Parks and Recreation. He also helps with his father’s landscaping business on the side.
Blunt said last week he believes New Kent schools can make more progress. The current board, he said, does not work in children’s best interests.
“I’ve seen a lot of staff being laid off,” he said, adding that he became an advocate for school custodians whose positions were eliminated a year ago.
“I believe children need as much one-on-one time with the teacher, and upping class sizes is not good,” he said. “I believe I have the best interests of the children at heart, and I’ll put the interests of the children first.
“I’ve learned a lot while working in Hanover,” he said. “That’s a good school system, and I’ve seen how a school system should be run.
“A lot of [New Kent] parents complain about bullying, and I want to see a powerful anti-bullying program here. New Kent has a program, but it’s one that administrators don’t utilize fully.”
Blunt joins Suzanne Kesler on the list of write-in candidates. Kesler, 53 and an accountant with Environmental Solutions in Chesterfield, just missed the June 8 deadline for filing for a spot on the ballot. Both are making their first bid for elected office. Whoever wins will occupy the seat for the remainder of Simmons’ term, which runs through 2011.