School Board Member Parker falls short of being on fall ballot

Cincinnati School Board Member Sean Parker has fallen short of the required petition signatures to appear on this fall’s ballot.

First-time candidate Parker, who was appointed to the school board on April 28, 2010 after former WCPO-TV reporter and comedian Michael Flannery stepped down, fell 43 signatures short of the required 300 needed to appear on the ballot, said Sally J. Krisel, Hamilton County Board of Elections director.

School Board Member Sean Parker (Courtesy of Facebook)

Board officials had originally found Parker was 50 short of the requirement, but further examination, at Parker’s request, revealed an additional seven signatures. That left the figure at 257 valid signatures. The deadline to have all valid signatures into the board was yesterday.

Krisel said she has already informed Parker and Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, and the board will formally inform Parker in a letter sent soon.

Mary Welsh Schlueter, an education activist and founder of Partners for Innovation in Education, or PIE, and a candidate for this fall’s election whose name will appear on the ballot, said she wishes Parker and his wife, who recently had the couple’s first child, the best.

“I sent Sean my condolences, but I know the time spent with his new baby will be treasured by his family,” she said. “Best of luck to him in his endeavors.”

Welsh Schlueter said Parker had helped with recent forums for PIE and she considers him a friend.

“He’s a good guy,” she said.

In addition to Welsh Schlueter, the following candidates have filed to run this fall and their names will appear on the ballot:

  • Current member, Eve Bolton
  • Alexander Poccia Kuhns
  • Current member, A. Chris Nelms

Though candidates often have political party connections, the board race is officially non-partisan. Three seats are up on the seven-member board this year. The remaining members run for re-election in 2013.

UPDATE (12:07 p.m EDT, 8/12/2011): Parker sent an email to his campaign list, thanking them for their support and encouraging them to continue supporting the district because “they need us.”

“There are many factors that contributed to this and I take full responsibility,” Parker said in the email. “If you have contributed your time or financially, I truly appreciate it and will never forget your support.  I will continue to do my part in helping to move the district forward in a positive way.”

A phone call to Parker has not yet been returned.