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15 candidates will vie for 3 Detroit school board spots

With three seats open on the seven-member board, any change in membership could have a dramatic impact.

A state representative and a former board president are two of the big names taking on the three incumbents whose Detroit Board of Education seats are up for grabs in the November election.

Michigan State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, a former district teacher, and LaMar Lemmons, a former school board president, are among the 15 candidates. John Telford, a former district superintendent, and former board members Elena Herrada and Ida Short also are vying for spots on the board.

Incumbents Iris Taylor, the current board president, and members Sonya Mays and Misha Stallworth are running as a slate in the Nov. 3 election. The winners will serve four-year terms. The election is the third one since the state relinquished control of the district in 2016, after many years of emergency management. During state control, the elected board had no power. The candidates had to file by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

With three seats open on the seven-member board, any change in membership could have a dramatic impact, particularly on Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s efforts to turn the district around. Vitti was hired in 2017 and is in the third year of a five-year contract. A divided board could make his reforms difficult.

Here is the full list of school board candidates provided by the Detroit clerk’s office:

  • Richard Carl Clement
  • Sherry Gay-Dagnogo
  • Bessie Lee Harris
  • Elena Herrada
  • Zsa Zsa Chantel Hubbard
  • Jermain Jones
  • LaMar Lemmons
  • Terrance Lemmons
  • Sonya Mays
  • Ida Short
  • Chico Frank Sorrell
  • Misha Stallworth
  • Iris Taylor
  • John Telford
  • Vijay Virupannavar

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