March 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Pannell to run for D.C. school board
Phillip Pannell, gay news, Washington Blade

Phil Pannell (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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