GEORGE CANTY, MISS. (WKRG) — George County’s District 1 school board race went down after a candidate withdrew Wednesday, October 12th.

Tanya Beech filed a certificate of withdrawal with the county clerk’s office, citing a potential conflict if elected to the board.

Book is the executive director of the Singing River Educational Association. The nonprofit operates Head Start in the county, the federal preschool program for low-income families.

Before qualifying as a candidate, Beach asked the Mississippi Ethics Commission to determine whether there would be any conflicts of interest. Head Start receives grant funding from the state, which is distributed through the George County School District.

The ethics commission notified Wednesday that Beech would have to leave her position at Head Start to become a school board member, according to a letter announcing her resignation.

“As much as I would like to be the voice of our communities with the school district, I am very committed to the community, staff, parents and students at Head Start,” Beech wrote. “I would like to thank each of you for your support and encourage you to vote for school board change.”

Book has worked in education for 30 years. Prior to taking over the Head Start program, she most recently served at GCSD as the Director of Federal Programs and Special Education.

District 1 voters will now choose between incumbent Jesse Ludgood and veterinarian Matthew Smith. Book will still appear on the ballot, but will not have the right to vote.

On the ballot for the District 2 seat are Pascagoula-Gauthier teacher and former GCSD administrator Maria Clanton, transportation company manager David Pritchett and retired teacher Margaret Tyrone. Incumbent Jake Green will not seek re-election.

The winner of the race will be the candidate with the most votes on November 8, regardless of whether they receive a majority. There will be no runoffs for school board races.

https://www.wkrg.com/state-regional/mississippi-news/george-co-school-board-race-narrows-after-candidate-withdraws/