With the election scheduled for tomorrow, a scramble is on between two candidates for president of the D.C. Board of Education. Neither apparently has enough pledged votes to win.
Three members of the 11-person board, who were elected Nov. 6 with the support of Mayor Marion Barry, are reported backing Eugene Kinlow. Three other members are reported supporting Carol L. Schwartz, the board's current vice president, although one of her supporters is said to be wavering.
Schwartz, a board member since 1975, wrote her board colleagues yesterday appealing for support with a frank reference to what she called "some handicaps which some of you have been urged to consider in rejecting me."
Those handicaps, she said, are "the part of the city where I live, my religion and my race." She is white, Jewish and lives in the predominantly white Ward 3, west of Rock Creek Park.
"If this is true, then everything for which all of us have been fighting for so many years is meaningless," she wrote. "If being white disqualifies me from election to the presidency of the board, what does that mean to every other group which happens to be in the social, religious or ethnic minority in other situations?"
Observers said Schwartz is backed by three members of the old board majority, which was dissolved by the election of three new members in November. Her supporters are reported to be Alaire B. Rieffel of Ward 2, Calvin lockridge of Ward 8 and John E. Warren of Ward 6, who has been reported wavering in the last few days.
Warren reportedly has been pressured by the teachers union not to vote for Schwartz because Schwartz did not support the union during the teachers' strike.
Warren was said to have lined up behind Schwartz -- despite his frequent clashes with her at board meetings -- because he did not want to vote for Kinlow, since Kinlow was supported by the mayor in the November election. The three board members, who also were supported by the mayor, who are backing Kinlow are Nathaniel Bush of Ward 7, Frank Smith of Ward 1 and Linda Cropp of Ward 4.
Warren reportedly resented Barry's support of Warren's challenger in the November election.
Kinlow was elected as an at-large board member last May to replace Betty Ann Kane, now a City Council member.
Frank Shaffer-Corona of the old board minority faction said he would vote for Barbara Lett Simmons.Simmons and Bettie Benjamin -- who also are members of the old board minority faction -- are reported nonaligned.