Twiggs County voters in District 1 will have to pick someone new to represent them on the school board.
Incumbent Yolanda Thomas isn’t running for re-election, leaving Isiah “Mike” Rouse Jr. and Javarez T. Bryant to vie for the post.
Rouse, 56, retired last year as a nondestructive inspector who worked 36 years at Robins Air Force Base. He still works as a Realtor. He is running as a Democrat.
Bryant, 35, is a firefighter and is also running as a Democrat.
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With no other candidates in the race, the May 20 election will decide who controls the seat. The position pays $7,200.
Rouse told The Telegraph he’s a proud graduate of Twiggs County High School, which prepared him for his career at Robins. Both his children graduated from the school system, and one of his grandsons is now a Twiggs County student.
“I’m running because I know I can make a difference,” he said. “I really want to be a strong advocate for Twiggs County but especially the children. I’m passionate about Twiggs County, the future. I realize if we don’t adequately prepare our children for the future, our future will be bleak.”
Bryant canceled an interview with The Telegraph, saying something had come up. He did not follow up with the newspaper and did not respond to another call from the reporter.
Rouse said if elected he would work to increase student achievement, encourage parental involvement and open lines of communication. He said he’s worried about Twiggs County students competing internationally.
“We can’t let things be any more. If you just let things be, things will never change,” he said. “We need to do whatever we can to inspire, challenge and prepare students for the global marketplace.”
Rouse said District 1 is centered on Jeffersonville but sprawls away from the city limits.
Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the May 20 election.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.