Richmond School Board
Richmond School Board (Photo courtesy of RPS)
School Board Vice Chairman Don Coleman said in an interview Monday afternoon he would not seek reelection in the East End-anchored 7th district this upcoming November.
Coleman, 55, was elected to the board in 2008. He served as vice chairman in 2013, then chairman from January 2014 through the end of last year, and now as vice chairman again.
“I just really feel strongly that Richmond is heading in the right direction. I want to be apart of that, but I don’t think being a school board member is going to be the best opportunity to do that based on my stage in life," Coleman said. "I believe overall as a board, as a team, we’ve done a great job to get us to this point.”
To date, no one has filed to run for the 7th district seat. Coleman said he hopes his decision spurs people in his district to consider serving on the board. At least one person who is well acquainted with city politics already is.
James “JJ” Minor said in an interview Monday he was strongly considering a bid for the seat. Minor, an alumnus of Armstrong High School, is the son of Del. Delores McQuinn. He currently works in City Hall and serves as the chairman of the city’s Democratic Committee, the local wing of the Democratic party.
Minor said dozens of people have approached him about running since he organized a town hall last month at Mount Olivet Church in the East End.
“I’m about 70 percent yes and about 30 percent no right now,” Minor said.
Come January 2016, the board could have several new faces on it. Representatives Kim Gray and Kristen Larson already have announced their respective intentions to run for Richmond City Council, leaving the 2nd and 4th district seats open. Jeff Bourne, the board’s chairman, has expressed interest in a City Council run in the Northside 3rd district. Bourne, Coleman, Gray and Larson have been the board’s most reliable supporters of Superintendent Dana Bedden’s administration and policy recommendations.