The Bryan County Board of Elections ruled 3-0 Monday that Audrey Singleton, a candidate for the Bryan County Board of Education vice chairman position, will remain on the May 24 primary ballot.
Elections Supervisor Cindy Reynolds said a challenge was filed citing a “conflict of interest” because Singleton is the owner of Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool.
Reynolds said the board ruled that the preschool falls under “different rules and regulations.”
As a private business, it does not fall under the purview of the Board of Education.
“I was as surprised as anyone,” Singleton said. “I didn’t understand why anyone would go to such lengths.”
Drew Humphreys, who also is running for school board vice chairman, said he had heard about the challenge being filed.
“I was surprised she got through,” he said. “I personally believe it is a conflict of interest because her preschool could ultimately benefit from decisions made by the school board.”
John Dunivan, who filed the challenge, said he did so because he found a state statute that prohibits people who run a private elementary or secondary school from serving on a local board of education. Richmond Hill Montessori provides kindergarten.
“I think that’s a huge conflict of interest because it competes with the Board of Education,” Dunivan said. “To me, kindergarten is part of the elementary school, it’s regulated by the state board of education.”
Dunivan, who said he had not endorsed any candidate previously, will now put “all I can behind Ms. Krupp.”
Karen Krupp, who also is running for vice chairman, was not immediately available for comment.