A total of 22 D.C. school board candidates, including six incumbents, met yesterday's 5 p.m. petition-filing deadline for the six seats on the 11-member board that are up for election Nov. 8.
The candidates had to turn in at least 200 signatures by yesterday's deadline to be eligible to run for a ward seat. Those vying for the sole at-large seat up for election had to turn in at least 1,000 signatures.
In the at-large race, incumbent Eugene Kinlow, a former president of the board, faces challenges from five other candidates, including Congress Heights Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner McDonald Robinson and investment consultant Israel Lopez.
Also running against Kinlow are Dennis Sobin, publisher of the Free Spirit newspaper and former operator of an adult "swing club," and Theodore R. Bledsoe. Roger Wills, vice president of a private job-training and referral service, did not file petitions but said he is running as a write-in candidate.
In Ward 1, recently appointed board member Edna Frazier-Cromwell faces competition from four opponents: Walter C. Pierce, youth program director for the Ontario Lakers Youth Program; James W. Curry, a home-improvement contractor and advisory neighborhood commissioner; Leonard J. Thompson, an investigator/social service representative for the city's Human Services Department; and Juanita Bright.
In Ward 4, incumbent Linda Cropp, also the board's educational programs director, is challenged by Mary C. Tucker, president of the Roosevelt Senior High School Home and School Association.
In Ward 5, incumbent Bettie Benjamin, chairman of the board's specialized education programs, faces a challenge from Shaw Junior High School Principal Percy Ellis Jr. Also running for the Ward 5 seat are Ernest B. Mercer, principal of Langdon Elementary School, and Edward Wolterbeck.
Ward 6 incumbent John Warren, chairman of the board's research, planning and evaluation committee, faces an election challenge from two opponents: Robert D. Boyd, a former vice president of Parents United for Full Public School Funding, a local lobbying group; and Charlotte Holmes, a budget analyst with the Small Business Administration.
In Ward 7, the incumbent is Nate Bush, the board's vice president. He faces challenges from James Baldwin, formerly the city's human rights director, and from Calvin Lindo, a senior real estate specialist with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Challenges questioning the validity of any signatures on a candidate's petitions can be made by other candidates during a 10-day period beginning today, elections officials said.