Three new candidates filed last night to run in the three Board of Education races in Montgomery County.
In two of the races, prior to yesterday, only one candidate had filed. In District 2, incumbent Rebecca Smondrowski was unopposed until Brandon Rippeon, a Darnestown Republican who was last seen running unsuccessfully for Congress in CD6 in 2012, filed for the seat yesterday.
In District 4, Shebra Evans, who lost a close contest in 2014 for an at large Board seat, was unopposed until Anjali Reed Phukan filed yesterday. Phukan previously ran as a write in candidate for Comptroller in 2014 as part of something called the Maryland Service Party. She received 595 votes, better than Jim Gilmore’s 12 votes in Iowa, but not by a whole lot.
Because the top two vote getters in the primary advance to the general election, and there are only two candidates in each of District 2 and 4, the races will be contested only in the general election in November, where both Evans and Smondrowski will be heavy favorites.
In the at-large race, incumbent Phil Kauffman already faced strong competition from retired principal Jeannette Dixon, a retired principal, and former student member of the Board of Education Sebastian Johnson. Another candidate, former DC charter school operator Gwendolyn Kimbrough, is also running. Then last night another candidate, Mike Ibanez, a former Democratic candidate for Congress in 1996 and for the Board of Education in 2006 and 2010, filed to become the fifth candidate in the at large race. The five candidates will face off in the April primary, with the top two finishers moving on to the general election.