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Newcomer Angela Ambroise brings CMS board slate to nine

Angela Ambroise, a first-time candidate, is running for an at-large CMS board seat.
Angela Ambroise, a first-time candidate, is running for an at-large CMS board seat.

Political newcomer Angela Ambroise filed to run for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board shortly before filing closed Friday, bringing the field to nine candidates for three seats.

Ambroise (it’s “ahm-braz,” though she answers to “ambrose”) is active in the Villa Heights Community Association and applied for the District 3 seat that came open when Joyce Waddell was elected to the state Senate (it went to Ruby Jones). A Realtor with two children, ages 3 1/2 and 5, Ambroise says she wants CMS to rethink its approach to urban schools and link education policy to city housing plans.

She’s a Democrat who’s just getting her campaign organized; stay tuned for a website.

So the final tally is: Two incumbents and seven challengers; six Democrats, one Republican and one unaffiliated.

The three top finishers will win four-year terms, joining the six district representatives. Here’s a look at where the at-large candidates live (click on the dots to see who’s who). It looks like the populous northern suburbs didn’t field any candidates this year.

And it’ll be at least two more years before the county’s fast-growing Latino population gets a voice on the school board. When Hispanic businesswoman Pat Martinez applied for the District 3 seat in February, board members talked about the need for such a voice. But neither she nor any others filed to run.

Over the next 3 1/2 months, I’ll be talking more to these candidates and trying to figure out the best way to help voters pick the ones to guide the district through a challenging time.

Though I may need a Plan B for my career if Larry Bumgarner gets elected.

Because the Call to Revolution website he listed when he filed for school board didn’t give many clues about his plans for CMS, I asked him for clarification. He sent a new, mellower Make Lives Matter site, casting himself as a parent advocate rather than an angry revolutionary.

In an email, he elaborated that he wants to hire a superintendent and let that person lead, work on a plan to cooperate with charter schools “and finally get the board to get rid of concierge reporters from the TV, newspaper and the like, who always post the story we all know they are going to post.”

Hmm. Campaigning to get reporters out of public education is unusual, but it’s probably worth a few votes.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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