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5 School Board Seats Filled, 4 Win Re-Election

Posted: 10:24 PM, Aug 04, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-05 03:24:48Z
5 School Board Seats Filled, 4 Win Re-Election
5 School Board Seats Filled, 4 Win Re-Election

In Metro, the battle over five School Board seats ended with all four incumbents being re-elected.

One of those incumbents and the School Board Chair will keep her seat. Sharon Dixon Gentry got 56 percent of the vote in District 1.

Jill Speering, also an incumbent, held on to her seat by 17 points in District 3.

In District 5, newcomer Christiane Buggs, a former Metro student and now a teacher, won the seat over three challengers.

District 7 was where things got interesting. Will Pinkston hung on by only 36 votes.

Finally, in District 9, incumbent Amy Frogge took the lead over Thom Druffel with 64 percent of the vote.

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In casting their ballots, voters also rejected efforts to put candidates on the School Board who received strong support from out of state political PACs promoting charter schools.

On Wednesday, Tennessee Citizen Action and a politically active Metro School parent filed a complaint claiming a political action committee (PAC) from outside Tennessee has broken state law.

The Oregon based Stand for Children PAC has supported candidates who have been friendly to charter Schools.

In a news conference Wednesday morning attorney Gerard Stranch, who represents Tennessee Citizen Action, said they have documented proof that the PAC broke campaign finance laws.

He filed a complaint with Registry of Election Finance claiming the PAC inappropriately coordinated with four school board candidates.

Stand for Children PAC poured more than $200,000 into Nashville's school board races.

The complaint listed three potential violations -- all of which Stand for Children said were "untrue" and "politically motivated."

Stand for Children declined an on camera interview but claimed it has spent the $200,000 to beat incumbents because "powerful forces are aggressively defending the indefensible status quo in Nashville."

Again, all four incumbents won re-election.