Veteran gay rights and civic activist Phil Pannell said he’s running for the Ward 8 seat on the D.C. State Board of Education in a special election expected to take place July 15.
The Ward 8 seat was declared vacant this week by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics following the resignation of incumbent Trayon White, who left the position to take a city government job. School board members are barred from working for the city government under a D.C. law.
Pannell lost to White in a special election for the Ward 8 school board seat in 2011 by fewer than 200 votes. Pannell ran against White again in the regularly scheduled election in 2012 and lost by a larger margin. Supporters say Pannell has a long record of involvement in school and education issues in Ward 8 and is highly qualified to serve on the board.
If he were to win in July he would become the second out gay member of the board. Gay civic activist and former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jack Jacobson won election to the Ward 2 seat on the school board in 2012.