School board candidates explain the run as Independents in partisan races

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 20:20:34-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — In Williamson County, some school board candidates are running as Independent to protest the race being partisan.

Several school board meetings in Williamson County were heated during the pandemic. Parents disagreed on COVID-19 policy. That's when Kristi Bidinger started going to the meetings.

"I can’t let these attacks keep happening on our teachers and on our administrators, and attacks on education," Bidinger said.

Now, Bidinger is running to be a school board member as an Independent. She's against school board races being partisan.

"School boards were not and should not be partisan, and I am not interested in our children, teachers, librarians, and their education being used as pawns in a political game." Bidinger said, "There’s too much at stake and too many little human beings that depend on our public schools."

Out of 20 school board candidates, eight are running as Independent.

"They don’t need us fighting whether they’re blue or red," Bidinger said.

School board incumbent Jay Galbreath feels differently.

"We didn’t make it political, but it was thrust upon us, I think we handled it in the best way we could," Galbreath said.

He's the only Republican running in the primary for the District 6 school board race.

"We’ve always been Republicans, we’ve always been Democrats, but when we come on the board we serve all the students. I don’t think it’s going to change a whole lot," Galbreath said.

He said voters should do their research on Independent candidates before voting for them.

"The most important ballot you can cast is for your local school board, your country commission, your judges, all these things impact our lives much much more than the Presidential races," Galbreath said.

Early voting wrapped up yesterday. More than 10,000 Williamson County residents made it to the polls.

The primary election is May 3, and the general election is in August.