Pamela Portis unseats Montgomery County school board president in Democratic primary

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Montgomery County School Board candidate Pamela Portis speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.
Montgomery County School Board candidate Pamela Portis speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.

New challengers appeared to win two of the three Montgomery County Board of Education seats that were on the line during Tuesday night's Democratic primary. And voters appeared to hand a decisive victory to Pamela Portis over current Board President Clare Weil.

Portis had more than 80% of the vote with only provisional ballots remaining, according to unofficial returns.

Portis had pledged to prioritize safety in schools and in the communities that surround them, and unity among school employees and staff members. She said Tuesday that she believes the urgency of the moment spoke to District 2 voters. "It’s time," Portis said. "We need to be excited about these kids’ future. I really do see us turning this thing around."

Montgomery County School Board candidate Phadra Carson Foster speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.
Montgomery County School Board candidate Phadra Carson Foster speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.

With only provisional ballots remaining, Phadra Carson Foster appeared to have won about 55% of the votes for the District 5 seat that's being vacated by incumbent Jannah Bailey. Foster was facing challenger JaCorey DeJuan Calloway.

The winner will challenge Republican Pamela Green Cloud in the general election on Nov. 8.

At least one incumbent appeared to have retained her board seat.

With only provisional ballots remaining, Claudia Mitchell won about 54% of the votes for her District 6 seat. She was being challenged in Tuesday's primary by Vickie Taylor Holloway.

Montgomery County School Board incumbent candidate Claudia Mitchell speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.
Montgomery County School Board incumbent candidate Claudia Mitchell speaks during a candidate forum In Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday April 28, 2022.

In a pre-election interview, Mitchell pledged to address a need for more teachers and staff while prioritizing student achievement. "Student achievement not only boosts confidence but also serves as a catalyst for success in other areas of a student’s life," Mitchell said. "It opens doors for a better chance of college enrollment and gives greater opportunities for job and career success."

The Nov. 8 general election will also feature a face-off between Republican incumbent Lesa Keith and Democratic challenger Marcus Vandiver for the District 1 seat.

District 3 incumbent Brenda DeRamus Coleman is unopposed.

District 2

With 9 of 10 reporting (only provisional ballots remaining)

  • Pamela Portis, 1,217

  • Clare Weil (i), 291

District 5

With 17 of 18 reporting (only provisional ballots remaining)

  • Phadra Carson Foster, 870

  • JaCorey DeJuan Calloway, 719

District 6

With 13 of 14 reporting (only provisional ballots remaining)

  • Claudia Mitchell, 1,413

  • Vickie Taylor Holloway, 1,210

Alabama primary results: See live vote totals as they're reported election night

On the issues: We asked Montgomery school board candidates to answer a few questions. Here's what they said

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brad Harper at bharper1@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery County BOE: Meet the primary winners to appear on ballot