Richardson ISD received permission from a U.S. District court judge Monday to postpone its regularly scheduled May 4 school board election until Nov. 5. The delay will permit implementation of the district’s new 5-2 electoral system, developed under the January settlement of the Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed by former trustee David Tyson and his attorney, Bill Brewer. Five trustees will be elected to single member districts, and two will be elected at-large.
Trustees have not finalized the transition plan, but early indications are that Karen Clardy will run for re-election in the new District 5 (in green), located primarily in the Lake Highlands feeder pattern, Eron Linn will run for re-election in District 2 (in orange), located primarily in the Berkner feeder pattern, and new candidates will run in “opportunity” District 4 (in yellow), which will contain a majority of minority voters and include Hamilton Park. Superintendent Jeannie Stone suggested the seat in District 4 should be elected in 2019, and Regina Harris, who serves as Richardson High’s PTA president and VP of the RISD Council of PTAs is expected to run. Harris lives in Hamilton Park and is African American. Other minority candidates have indicated they are considering running in District 4, and a delay until November could give them time to organize their campaigns.
The 2020 election will remain in May, with two seats traditionally up for grabs. One could be District 3 (in blue), the second opportunity/minority district. Another could be District 1 (in pink), located mostly in the Pearce feeder pattern, where Dr. Kristin Kuhne is up for re-election. Justin Bono, Lake Highlands resident and current president of the board, also comes up for re-election and would have to run for an at-large seat to remain on the board. In 2021, Jean Bono (Lake Highlands) and Kim Caston (Pearce) both have terms expiring and, with reps already elected in their districts, would need to run for at-large seats to remain on the board.
Additional clarification on the transition plan is expected to come from RISD in the coming weeks.
Yesterday/Tuesday, Brewer filed another Voting Rights lawsuit, this time against Lewisville ISD.