Six candidates listed for school board election

CUMBERLAND — Six candidates have filed for three open seats on the Allegany County Public Schools Board of Education.

Incumbents David Bohn, Tammy Fraley and Ed Root, and newcomers Michael Leptic, Linda Widmyer and Steven M. Lewis are listed on the Maryland Board of Elections website in the nonpartisan race.

The deadline for candidates to file for the 2020 election is Jan. 24.

To meet requirements for the primary election on April 28, seven candidates must run for the three open seats. Otherwise, the race will advance to the general election on Nov. 3.

The BOE seats have four-year terms. However, because Bohn received the lowest number of votes in the 2018 election, he must run again after having served two years on the board.

Bohn teamed with Robert Farrell and Wayne Foote in a unified campaign. They appeared in videos together and branded themselves “The Alliance” and “The Three Amigos.” They were elected, and last year voted for Farrell to be board president and Bohn vice president. 

Board members Tammy Fraley and Debra Frank voted against Farrell and Bohn as officers.

After a lengthy investigation and public hearing, the state in October removed Foote from office on grounds of sexual misconduct, intimidation and breaching the confidentiality of executive session board discussions. 

Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Root to replace Foote until the upcoming general election.

Root has more than 50 years of experience in the educational field and served from 2011 to 2016 as a member, vice president and president of the local school board.

He also served on the Maryland State Board of Education from 1999 to 2007. 

In January, Fraley, Root and Frank voted for Fraley to be board president.

“Mrs. Fraley is the senior member of the board,” Root said at that time. The board also voted for Frank to be vice president.

Fraley is also the Maryland Association of Boards of Education president elect for 2019-2020.

Leptic, who ran on the Green Party ticket for an Allegany County commissioner seat, was defeated in 2018.  

In a campaign announcement he submitted to the Cumberland Times-News that year, Leptic said he was a member of organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Psychological Association and NAACP.

Widmyer is a legislative aide for Delegate Mike McKay, according to her Facebook page. 

Lewis is former principal of Fort Hill High School.

The deadline for citizens to register to vote is April 7.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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