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Residents hear candidates speak

Three of Lincoln County’s candidates challenging for contestedpositions on the county election commission and school boardunveiled themselves to the public Saturday at a political rally atthe Bogue Chitto/Lincoln Community Center in Bogue Chitto.

First time challengers Dr. Edward Dillon and Denise Robertsoutlined their reasons for taking a shot at the Lincoln CountySchool Board in districts three and four, respectively, whileLincoln County Election Commission District Three candidate GloriaBrown explained her long-time experience with the electionprocess.

All three candidates expressed their desire to run as primarilyrooted in their familiarity and experience with their soughtpositions, and all three pledged to be good stewards of power.

“It’s the love I have for our school system – not just thestudents, but the superintendent and all the teachers, too,” Dillonsaid of his reasons for running. “It’s such a hard job they do, buteducation is the answer for almost any situation.”

Dillon said he has often tried to help with school matters inhis community from the outside, but said he realized he would beable to do more from within the system.

“On the outside you can make a lot of noise, but on the insideyou can make a difference,” he said.

Dillon said one of his main goals, if elected, would be to makesure the county school board maintains an open-book policy, so thatall parents would feel comfortable in approaching the board withtheir concerns.

He also pledged to be a visible and active board member,promising house calls and face-to-face visits with parents whosechildren slip in academics or discipline. He said he wants to rallyBogue Chitto parents to take a more active role in their children’seducation at home, and urges more support from area churches.

“I don’t think we need to get rid of alternative school, but forparents – when you get in alternative school, they need to say,’I’ve got an alternative for,'” Dillon suggested. “The computers,the movies, the CD player – all of that is taken away. We haveschool at school, now we need to have school at home.”

Dillon also suggested town hall meetings to discuss such issuesas the alleged lack of black teachers at Bogue Chitto AttendanceCenter.

“If something like this is going on, instead of getting thepitch forks and knives, we need to sit down and solve the problem,”he said.

Roberts was a little far from home at the Bogue Chitto rally, asthe school board seat she seeks represents primarily West LincolnAttendance Center, but she still grasped the opportunity to makeher campaign public.

“I just want to continue to improve our schools, put ourchildren first and be fair,” she said. “We have a good schoolsystem, and I just want to be a part of it.”

Roberts is an all-West Lincoln candidate, with one daughterhaving graduated there and a younger daughter still attending.

She believes she has the necessary experience to take her schoolservice to the next level after years of serving in West Lincoln’sbooster club and Parent Teacher Organization.

Brown displayed her more than 20 years of knowledge with theelection system to the crowd by immediately answering severalquestions concerning voting machines, ballots and voter rolls.

She is an experienced election worker who has served at Norfieldprecinct since the 1980s as a poll worker, bailiff and manager. Shealso ran union elections at Delphi Packard every three years.

“I’m running because it’s something I’m interested in,” Brownsaid. “I like the election process, and I know a little bit aboutit. I’ve had many classes and training session on how to conductmyself at the polls.”

Though not every county candidate attended the rally – none ofthe incumbent election commissioners were present – BogueChitto/Lincoln County Community Center President Charles Edwardssaid he believes the event was a success.

Edwards said the rally filled the center’s purpose of educatingthe community, because beyond just hearing the candidates speak,several questions pertaining to school board and electioncommissioner duties were answered.

“I think that will help our cause a lot,” he said. “These arequestions our members have been asking, and the answers given werea big help to our membership. I think our membership is going togrow because of it.”