The Columbia School Board race narrowed to three candidates after Brian Jones’ withdrawal from the race Thursday.
Jones sent a statement to the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Columbia Missourian announcing his withdrawal from the race. In the statement Jones said he has accepted an “unexpected employment opportunity” and will be relocating to Wisconsin at the end of February. He says this is in the best interests of his family.
Despite his withdrawal, Jones’ name will still be on the ballot in April. Boone County Clerk Brianna Lennon says a state law passed last year pushed up the deadline to remove a candidate’s name or an issue from the ballot. The law changed the deadline to withdraw to eight Tuesdays before the election. It had previously been six Tuesdays.
“Anybody that withdraws after Feb. 5, which would include Brian, would still appear on the ballot,” Lennon said.
Lennon said there are always candidates who fall into this time period so it is up to Jones to get the information out about his withdrawal.
There will now be three candidates running for the two open seats on the school board. These are Ardella "Della" Streaty-Wilhoit, Blake Willoughby and James “Jay” Atkins will compete in the election April 2.
Jones said he challenges the other candidates to “make sure they are representing all students in the district with their decisions”