White Responds to Pannell's Accusations
Ward 8 D.C. State Board of Education member Trayon White and staff at the board have responded to accusations of lax attendance at working sessions by his opponent Philip Pannell published recently in the Washington Informer and other media.
"Historically, the State Board of Education has not taken attendance at its working sessions," according to a statement issued on Tuesday, Oct. 23 by the board. "Therefore, any data about board member attendance at these sessions are unofficial and may not accurately reflect attendance. The board has recently decided to begin taking attendance at all future working sessions, and will maintain these records as it does for its monthly public meetings."
White's campaign, said in a letter to the Informer, that he missed four working sessions "for tending to after school emergencies and an emergency with his son."
The attendance records from the State Board of Education meetings were released and indicate that White's attendance was "regular and consistent with 100 percent attendance," according to the document.
"Please note that Mr. White was sworn into office May of 2011 following the April 26, 2011 special election," according to correspondence from White's campaign.
White has received a lot of support in the ward for his re-election as the race between he and Pannell heats up. White received a standing ovation at Allen Chapel AME Church in Southeast on Sunday, Oct. 21 for his work as a member of the D.C. State Board of Education and his candidacy.
Absalom Jordan, an advisory neighborhood commissioner in the ward, said that White is a "great example for kids in the District of Columbia Public Schools."
"He is from Ward 8 and went to school in Ward 8," said Jordan, 71. "He is a shining example of what can be done through education."
Lopez Not Likely to Run in 2013 At-Large Race
Joshua Lopez, a former Ward 4 advisory neighborhood commissioner and a close confidant to former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, said that he's not seeking the expected Democratic Party at-large vacancy on the D.C. Council.
Lopez, 28, ran in the April 26, 2011 special election to fill the seat of Kwame Brown, but finished fifth in a field of eight.
Interim D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is expected to win the special election to that position permanently in the Nov. 6 special election. Once he officially wins, the D.C. Board of Elections will declare his at-large seat vacant and the D.C. Democratic State Committee will choose the interim D.C. Council member. Lopez said that he will not be a part of that process.
"I will not try to get the appointment of the D.C. Democratic State Committee because it is an insider's game," he said.
The seat will be up for grabs in a special election that will be held in March or April 2013. Lopez admits that he has been approached about running next year, but isn't positive at this point.
"I have been talking to people but we will have to see what happens," he said, referring to what might happen to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in regards to the federal investigation into the 2010 campaign. "There are other positions that might come up as a result of that and we will have to see."