School board candidates explain race as independents in partisan races

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) – In Williamson County, some school board candidates are running as independents in protest that the race is partisan.

Several Williamson County School Board meetings have been lively during the pandemic. Parents disagreed on COVID-19 policy. That’s when Kristi Bidinger started going to meetings.

“I can’t let these attacks continue to happen against our teachers and administrators, and attacks on education,” Bidinger said.

Now Bidinger is running for school board membership as an independent. She is against school board races being partisan.

“School boards were and should not be partisan, and I am not interested in our children, our teachers, our librarians and their education being used as pawns in a political game.” Bidinger said, “There are too many stakes and too many little human beings dependent on our public schools.”

Of 20 school board candidates, eight are running as independents.

“They don’t need us to fight, whether they’re blue or red,” Bidinger said.

School board holder Jay Galbreath thinks differently.

“We didn’t make it political, but it was forced on us, I think we handled it in the best way possible,” Galbreath said.

He is the only Republican to run in the primary for the District 6 school board race.

“We’ve always been Republicans, we’ve always been Democrats, but when we come to the council, we serve all students. I don’t think that’s going to change much,” 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 national commission, your judges, all of those things have a much bigger impact on our lives than presidential races,” Galbreath said.

Early voting ended yesterday. More than 10,000 Williamson County residents turned out to vote.

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

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