Porter not running for re-election
District 5 Grady County Board of Education member Joe Porter has announced his plans not to seek re-election to the school board.
Porter will have served on the board for six years when his term expires on Dec. 31 of this year.
“I have thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to seek reelection this summer,” Porter said.
The District 5 school board member says he did not come to this decision hastily, but noted he had been thinking about if for about a year.
“It has been an educational experience for me to see just how the school system works. I have enjoyed working with administrators, teachers and support staff in trying to make our schools better,” Porter said.
Porter, who was named the Young Professional of the Year by the chamber of commerce this year and serves on the Grady County Joint Development Authority, is not ruling out running for another public office.
“I cannot at this time rule out seeking another office,” Porter said.
He and his wife Jami are the parents of Kate and Will, both of whom are students at Southside Elementary School.
Porter was initially appointed to the board to fill the unexpired term of Bobby Peeples and was then elected to a four-year term.
His tenure on the school board has not been without controversy. Porter was the only board member to oppose the issuance of bonds to construct the new Cairo High School gymnasium, and he also opposed former superintendent Steve Wooten’s controversial plan to reorganize the Cairo elementary schools. Wooten resigned and Porter, as chairman of the school board, oversaw the superintendent search and eventual hiring of Dr. Tommy Pharis as the school superintendent.
Although the school system has faced dramatic cuts in state funding, Porter says the budget situation is not the reason he has decided to step down.
“I have enjoyed serving and if I were to stay I believe the board we have now can do great things. I am hopeful that whoever takes my place will work with my fellow board members to continue to make our schools even better,” Porter said.
Qualifying for public offices up for election begins at 9 a.m. Monday, April 26, and will conclude at noon on Friday, April 30.
In addition to the District 5 school board seat, the other public offices up for election this year include: District 2 county commission and school board; District 5 county commission; state court judge; and state court solicitor.
The party primary will be held July 20, 2010, and the general election is set for Nov. 2, 2010.